Brooklyn primaries to watch as absentee ballots come in

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Carolyn Maloney and Suraj Patel are neck and neck with in-person votes.
US Congress/Suraj Patel 2020

The 2020 primary election in New York has proven one of the most unusual in the city’s history, as voters cast an unprecedented number of absentee ballots due to the COVID-19 crisis — ensuring the final results likely won’t be known for several weeks.

The weeks-long wait is sure to leave fingernails bitten down to the nub in some races, while other results already point to a clear winner, absentee results withstanding.

According to Board of Election data, 2o7,749 absentee ballots were distributed for the Democratic party alone — and, as of Tuesday, the BOE had only received about 3,000, or 1.5 percent of the total. That, coupled with a Primary Day fraught with technical issues and irregularities, is sure to make for a bumpy ride to the finish line.

In the meantime, here’s where things currently stand:

NY-12 Congressional District (Williamsburg)

Incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney holds on to a narrow lead against primary challenger Suraj Patel in the tri-borough district that touches Williamsburg. Maloney is ahead with 40.34 percent of the vote to Patel’s 38.75 percent. The district contains sections of Manhattan that make up Maloney’s base where data shows thousands of residents fled the city at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which will make the absentee results all the more telling. 

Assembly District 50 (Greenpoint)

Dynastic incumbent Assemblyman Joe Lentol holds a lead over challenger Emily Gallagher with 55.13 percent of the vote to Gallagher’s 40.42 percent.

Assembly District 57 (Crown Heights, Fort Greene)

Democratic Socialists of America-backed challenger Phara Souffrant Forrest and incumbent Assemblyman Walter Mosley are neck and neck, with Forrest right behind Mosley at 45.89 percent to the incumbent’s 49.80 percent.

Assembly District 56 (Bedford-Stuyvesant) 

Stefani Zinerman leads Justin Cohen 51.71 percent to 39.68 percent in the race for Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright’s seat. 

Assembly District 51 (Sunset Park, Red Hook)

The four-way race for the Sunset Park Assembly Seat has incumbent Felix Ortiz in front for now with 37.87 percent of in-person votes, with Democratic Socialists of America-backed challenger Marcela Mitaynes not far behind with 30.52 percent. Community Board 7 member Katherine Walsh follows with 20.30 percent of the vote while Genesis Aquino brings up the rear, so far, with just about 9 percent. 

While there is still a mountain of absentee ballots to count, some races already have a clear front runner. Those races are as follows. 

State Senate District 25 (Bedford Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens)

Upstart socialist Jabari Brisport holds the lead for the three-way race to replace retiring senate stalwart Velmanette Montgomery with 49.98 percent to the establishment favorite Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright’s 38.85 percent. Meanwhile, former Montgomery staffer Jason Salmon remains in the single digits so far with just 6 percent of in-person votes. 

Assembly District 43 (Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights, Flatbush)

Assemblywoman Diana Richardson holds a massive lead over former Independent Democratic Conference member Jesse Hamilton, who challenged Richardson to her seat after being booted from his own senate position two years ago in a wave of anti-Republican fervor. Richardson is ahead with a comfortable 67.11 percent of in-person votes while Hamilton lags behind with only 26.56 percent. 

NY-9 Congressional District (Central and south Brooklyn)

Incumbent Yvette Clarke is in a comfortable lead against her four challengers with 60 percent of in-person votes. Adem Bunkedekko — who came close to beating the longtime Congresswoman in 2018 is in a far-and-away second place with only 17 percent. Conservative Democrat Chaim Deutsch and progressive Isiah James have both brought in only 9 percent thus far, while business owner Lutchi Gayot holds just 1 percent of in-person votes.

NY-12 (Red Hook)

Rep. Jerry Nadler looks poised to victory with 60 percent of in-person votes to challenger Lindsey Boylan’s 24 percent and Jonathan Herzog’s 12 percent. 

NY-11 (Bay Ridge)

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis clinched the nomination in the borough’s only Republican race to take on incumbent Rep. Max Rose in the southern Brooklyn and Staten Island congressional district. Malliotakis ended Tuesday with 69 percent of the vote to prosecutor Joseph Calderara’s 29 percent, setting in motion what is sure to be a nasty general election in one of the city’s only swing districts.