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Queens Primary Elections Update

Last Tuesday’s primary election saw candidates go head to head in a great number of races throughout the five boroughs, including open offices for Mayor, Borough Presidencies, and many City Council seats.

However, since ranked choice voting is being used this year, the final results of many elections will likely not be known until early July when second and third (and fourth and fifth) choice votes are counted. Additionally, the board of elections is still receiving mail-in ballots that will be tallied into the final vote.

It’s a lot to keep track of, so here’s everything you need to know about the races in Queens.

Borough President
Things are tight in the race for Borough Hall! Donovan Richards, the current Queens BP who has served a shortened term after winning a special election, is barely leading with 41.7 percent of the vote. City Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley is right on the incumbent’s tail, with 40.4 percent.

On the other hand, City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer is almost certainly out of the race with a measly 17.9 percent.

District 19, Democrat
Former State Senator Tony Avella holds 37.3% of first place votes, giving him the lead in the race to represent Bayside, College Point, and the rest of Northeast Queens. However, Richard Lee — a former Budget Director for the Borough President — is not far behind with 30.1 percent.

“With ranked choice voting and over 4,000 absentee ballots requested, I am confident that once those votes are taken into consideration, we will close the gap and claim victory in this race,” Lee wrote in a statement.

District 19, Republican
In order to win a ranked choice election, a candidate must secure over 50 percent of votes. Such was the case on the other side of the aisle in District 19, where community activist Vickie Paladino won the election with 53.4 percent of first place votes. Her opponent, the young John-Alexander Sakelos, did rather well himself as well, earning 46.6 percent.

District 22
After an impressive showing in the race for Queens District Attorney, former defense attorney and progressive upstart Tiffany Caban earned 49.4 percent in the race to represent Astoria. She enjoys a nearly insurmountable lead over her opponent Evie Hantzopoulos, who earned 26.3 percent of the vote.

Rumor has it that Caban is in the running for City Council Speaker despite being a newcomer to the legislative body. Keep an eye out for this new political talent.

District 26
With over 15 candidates, it would be an understatement to call the race for City Council District 26 crowded. However, there are now some clear frontrunners in the primary election to represent Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, and parts of Astoria.

Julie Won, a technology consultant and Queens Community Board 2 member, is leading with 18.47 percent of in-person votes. Amit Bagga, former deputy director of the city’s 2020 census campaign, follows close behind with 17.65 percent of the vote. Brent O’Leary, a prolific community organizer and activist in Woodside, is also still in the running with an even 10 percent.

District 29
The race to represent Forest Hills is neck and neck! Long-time community and LGBTQ activist Lynn Schulman holds a narrow lead with 22.1 percent of the vote. Political newcomer Aleda Gagarin is right on Schulman’s tail, with an impressive 20.7 percent of first-place votes.

District 30
Robert Holden, a Republican-turned-Democrat and long term representative of this Maspeth/Middle Village district, defended his seat against rival Juan Ardila. Holden won the election outright, securing 53.3 percent of first-place votes, a majority that guaranteed his victory.

District 32
Things are tight out in the Rockaways! The race for District 32 (which includes parts of Breezy Point, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, and the Rockaways) has found two clear frontrunners in Felicia Singh and Michael Scala. Singh is leading by the narrowest of margins with 36.8 percent of first place votes. Scala follows closely behind with an equally impressive 35.5 percent.

Second, third, fourth, and even fifth place votes will likely determine the outcome of this nail-biting primary.

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