The second primary, which landed on Tuesday night, brought several key races to the forefront, along with a few key takeaways for voters as they look ahead to the November elections.
1. Incumbents hold seats
It was a good day for incumbents in the New York State Senate.
Nine Democratic senators who represent New York City faced primary challenges, and all nine appeared on their way to victory.
That includes Sen. Robert Jackson, who faced a challenge from Angel Vasquez in the 31st Senate District, which includes Upper Manhattan and part of the Bronx. Vasquez was backed by Mayor Eric Adams and Rep. Adriano Espaillat.
Also holding on to were Sens. Joseph Addabbo, Kevin Parker, Jabari Brisport, Andrew Gounardes, Brian Kavanagh, Cordell Cleare and Brad Hoylman.
With 99% of scanners reporting, Bronx Sen. Gustavo Rivera also held a lead of about 600 votes in the 33rd Senate District over Miguelina Camilo, who had the backing of the Bronx Democratic establishment. Rivera declared victory late Tuesday night in the district that stretches from Van Nest to Riverdale.
“Against a flood of special interest money — from real estate, from charter schools, and from right-wing Trump donors — and against every effort by the Bronx Democratic Party machine, we prevailed,” Rivera said in a statement.
2. Questions remain about absentees in NY-10
While Dan Goldman celebrated his victory in the 10th Congressional District hours before the Associated Press called the race in his favor, his closest competitor, Manhattan Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou refused to concede until all the votes are counted.
That’s in part because Goldman held a lead of 1,300 votes based on the unofficial election night returns, which include the votes cast during early voting, Primary Day and absentee ballots processed by the city Board of Elections through last Friday.
Based on a report published by elections officials Tuesday evening, the city Board of Elections sent out 21,502 absentee ballots in this district, with 7,034 returned and presumed valid. The BOE could not say what portion of those votes are included in the unofficial results on Tuesday night. That means there are an additional 14,000 ballots that are outstanding, some (but not all) of which will be returned. There are also additional ballots that may contain a curable defect and could be eligible to be fixed by a voter and then counted.
According to the city BOE’s website: “Absentee ballot recap reports will be updated and posted at the close of business each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, beginning this Friday, August 26th, 2022 and will continue until the cure process has expired.”
But at this point, it may be more a matter of whether the Niou camp changes its tune and decides to concede or waits to see if the margins tilt in its favor. Don’t be surprised if election lawyers get involved.
3. A Rose v. Malliotakis rematch
Staten Islanders will once again decide who will represent them in the 11th Congressional District next year after Max Rose and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis pulled off decisive Primary Day victories in their respective parties on Tuesday.
Rose, a Democrat and former congressman and army veteran, received more than 74% of the vote on Tuesday. Malliotakis, a Republican, won her primary handily with more than 78% of the vote.
Both victories set the stage for a mighty rematch between the two, who already duked it out in 2020, when Rose lost his seat in Congress to Malliotakis, a former state assemblywoman who earned roughly 53% of the vote that year.
Malliotakis took the opportunity to frame the 2022 race against Rose as one about public safety. Rose, on the other hand, pointed to issues like abortion and gun control as key components of the race moving forward.
4. Bad night for Adams
Mayor Eric Adams, a centrist Democrat, couldn’t hit his marks in the primary, backing candidates who lost their respective races.
Adams officially endorsed candidate and moderate Democrat Elizabeth Crowley for the 59th Senate District race over democratic socialist Kristen Gonzalez. Crowley conceded her race, in which she garnered Adams’ endorsement along with support from establishment Democrats.
In the meantime, Rev. Conrad Tillard, Adams’ pick in the race for the 25th Senate District seat came short, losing to incumbent State Sen. Jabari Brisport.
Adams backed candidates who he said can identify the reality that public safety has become a main concern.
“I think that there's some people, some people in Albany that really are not identifying the reality that is planned out on our streets,” Adams said at an unrelated news conference on Monday. “And I need people in Albany that they believe like I do. We need to protect innocent New Yorkers.”
It wasn’t a complete and total loss for Adams. State Sen. Kevin Parker of Brooklyn’s 21st Senate District was ahead of democratic socialist candidate David Alexis. Parker, who has been in office since 2003, was backed by a charter school-backed super PAC that spent over $7,000 in mailers in support of him. Alexis, however, has yet to concede.
“Regardless of the results, I'm so honored to have worked with everyone in this movement,” Alexis wrote on Twitter. “We did something amazing in this campaign: build a working-class coalition in Flatbush.”
5. Nadler wins, but New York City loses clout
Rep. Jerrold Nadler won in the contested primary for New York’s 12th Congressional District. And he won big, taking home more than 50% of the vote in the four-way Democratic race.
It means New York City will retain the state’s longest-tenured congressperson, assuming Nadler defeats Republican Michael Zumbluskas in the heavily Democratic district.
But it also means New York City will lose 30-year incumbent Carolyn Maloney, who is tied with Nydia Velázquez as the state’s second-longest-tenured member of Congress.
Maloney chairs the influential House Oversight Committee, and she had touted her work securing funding for major projects like the Second Avenue subway.
The two longtime incumbents were drawn into the same congressional district by a court-appointed mapmaker, who stepped in after the state courts ruled that Democrats gerrymandered the state’s newly drawn congressional lines earlier this year. Both Nadler and Maloney quickly staked out their turf in the new 12th Congressional District and declined to run in the new 10th District, which covered Lower Manhattan.
City Comptroller Brad Lander, a Nadler supporter, was at Nadler’s victory party on the Upper West Side. Gothamist asked him whether he regrets that Nadler and Maloney couldn’t work out a compromise to run in separate districts.
“I mean, redistricting is messy,” Lander said. “This was messier than it needed to be. I don’t regret so much that the two of them couldn’t work something out. But I …”
A loud cheer erupted at the bar at the Arte Cafe, interrupting Lander. At that moment, Spectrum News NY1 declared Nadler the winner.
“I guess they called it,” Lander said.