One of the most competitive races in yesterday's state primary was the one for disgraced Lower East Side Assembly Speaker/kingpin Sheldon Silver's seat—and it turns out Shelly's political machine isn't as powerful as it once was. Yuh-Line Niou, backed by the Working Families Party, beat Silver's anointed heir, Alice Cancel, and four other candidates in the Democratic match-up.

"I am humbled to be the first Asian American to represent Chinatown or any part of Manhattan in the state legislature," Niou said.

Cancel won an April election to replace Silver, garnering 7,873 votes; Niou got the second most votes, with 6,654. Cancel had supported Silver, calling him "a hero in this community"... right before he was convicted of rampant corruption.

The NY Times calls Niou's victory a possible sign that "Mr. Silver’s clout is truly on the wane — and that voting patterns are beginning to reflect shifting demographics in the area, which is nearly half Asian." Niou got 2,742 votes (31.8%), while Jenifer Rajkumar had 1612 (18.7% ); Paul Newell had 1381 (16.0%); Cancel received 1069 (12.4%); Don Lee had 984 (11.4%); and Gigi Li got 827 votes (9.6%).

Niou is the Chief of Staff for Assemblymember Ron Kim. The Observer explains that she "retained much of the coalition of labor unions and city and state Democratic Party leaders that supported her unsuccessful bid in the special election. The strength of Yuh-Line’s fundraising and political backing owes much to Congressman Joseph Crowley, the Queens County Democratic boss, and his ally John Liu, the former city comptroller." In an interview with The LoDown, she emphasized how she knows how to work hard and serve the community:

The former speaker had over $1 million just to do constituent services… We’re going to be at an $85,000 budget, whoever comes in… I run a freshman office, so I know exactly how it’s done… Because you have such a limited amount of funds and because you have such a limited amount of time, you really need to hit the ground running on day one… In Ron’s office I was able to help service 30-60 people a day. That’s like 10,000 constituent cases a year… I’m going to make sure that folks really feel taken care of. That’s my mission and the reason I want to serve. As I look around, I just see the need.

In another hotly contested primary, Marisol Alcantara won the Democratic primary for Adriano Espaillat's State Senate seat (Espaillat is poised to take Rep. Charles Rangel's House seat in November), narrowly beating Robert Jackson and Micah Lasher, with 8309 (Lasher had 7737 votes and Jackson got 7616).

Alcantara, a union organizer, is aligned with the State Senate's Independent Democratic Conference [IDC], led by State Senator Jeff Klein. Klein told NY1, "More importantly I think It means the IDC is going to be around a long time. And we should be. It is responsible for getting a lot of very important things done. We are responsible for the $15 an hour minimum wage. We are responsible for paid family leave, the best program in the nation. The largest middle class tax cut in probably a generation. And we've been able to do that by bridging the gap between Democrats and Republicans."

Or, as we previously mentioned, "a vote for [Alcantara] is more or less a vote to keep the Senate under Republican/Cuomo control."

You can see the results of other primaries here. The general election is on November 8th.