Antonio Reynoso declares victory in primary race for Brooklyn borough president

brooklyn borough president
Councilmember Antonio Reynoso.
Photo by Ariama C. Long

Williamsburg Councilmember Antonio Reynoso declared victory in the Democratic primary for the Brooklyn borough president’s race on Tuesday, after a count of absentee ballots showed him firmly in the lead. 

With the ballots counted and preliminary ranked-choice tabulations available, Reynoso holds a 54.8 percent lead to Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon’s 45.2 percent. Simon conceded to Reynoso soon after the data was released

Preliminary election night results showed Bedford-Stuyvesant Councilmember Robert Cornegy in second place and Simon in third. Ranked-choice voting tabulations saw Simon overtake Cornegy while Reynoso held onto his lead. While some ballots remain that need to be “cured” — meaning a voter filled it out incorrectly and it needs to be returned — it is all but certain Reynoso’s lead will hold. 

In a statement, Reynoso — who currently represents the City Council’s 34th District, spanning parts of Williamsburg, Bushwick and Ridgewood — celebrated the win and thanked his supporters. 

“Our campaign was always about building a Brooklyn for all of us — no matter your race, your background, or what zip code you live in — and I’m so honored by the support that brought us to this victory today,” he said. 

Reynoso campaigned to the left of most BP front runners, earning the support of Sen. Bernie Sanders and the Working Families Party. The candidate focused his campaign on reversing the inequities laid bare by the pandemic.

“Growing up on Williamsburg’s South side, our family didn’t have much — we depended on food stamps and Section 8 housing to get by — and I saw first-hand the challenges that our working families face, from the toxic effects of environmental racism to the inequities in our school system to brutality at the hands of the NYPD,” Reynoso said. “This is a turning point for our city, and we have the opportunity to fight for not only a just recovery that centers communities of color and those most harmed by this pandemic, but real, systemic change to address the racial, social, and economic inequities that got us here in the first place.”

While the Democratic Primary all but assures victory in seats like the Brooklyn beep’s, the winner will still have to face off against Republican candidate Menachem Raitport in the general election in November.

In the meantime, Reynoso’s victory over Cornegy in the primary election represents another local loss for the Brooklyn Democratic Party, whose leaders had favored the Bedford-Stuyvesant councilmember. The party fared poorly in local races across the borough but triumphed with the presumed victory of current Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who on Tuesday night secured his lead over former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

The next borough president will be tasked proposing legislation, approving zoning changes, making citywide budget recommendations, and directing for land use. Borough presidents appoint members to the New York City Planning Commission, and members to other local boards.