Park Slope Councilman Brad Lander has seemingly secured enough votes to win the Democratic primary for New York City Comptroller, making the Brooklyn lawmaker a shoe-in to become the chief financial officer of the Five Boroughs next January, according to newly released unofficial results from the city’s Board of Elections.
Lander secured 339,129 votes (51.9%), compared to his primary rival, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who received 314,446 votes (48.1%), according to the BOE’s numbers, finalizing a remarkable comeback for the progressive pol in the hotly-contested election.
As New York City last month conducted its first primary election using the ranked-choice voting system, where voters ranked their preferences in order of 1-5, the city’s Board of Elections took several days to tally votes. After a number of mishaps, the BOE finally tallied the in-person votes — which includes both early voting and votes cast on election day — on June 29, and on July 6, they tallied most of the absentee ballots.
While some ballots remain needing to be “cured” — meaning the voter filled out their ballot improperly, and now have a chance to fill out their ballot once more — Lander leads Johnson in the unofficial vote tally by 24,683 ballots, making him the presumptive Democratic nominee for the comptroller position.
Lander took to Twitter to celebrate his victory, saying that he would use the post to promote equality in the city’s government.
“Thank you NYC! I promise to work hard every single day to help our city recover from the pandemic more just, more equal, and better prepared for future crises than we were for this one,” he said.
The controller is responsible for overseeing investments of the city’s pension funds, as well as auditing city agencies. Current Comptroller Scott Stringer ran for mayor in the June Democratic primaries, but came up short after allegations of sexual assault rocked his campaign, and caused many of his supporters to withdraw their endorsements.
Lander’s win marks a significant win for the progressive wing of New York City’s Democratic Party, as he has long positioned himself as the champion of liberal causes in the city. He earned the endorsement of Queen Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and the editorial board of the New York Times.
The win also represented a rejection of the political power machine that often dominates city politics, and which helped Eric Adams to win a victory in the city’s mayoral election, as he slight edged out former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia in the race for City Hall.
Lander’s daughter, Rosa, a high profile campaign surrogate, tweeted simply thanking her father’s supporters.
— Rosa Lander (@RosaBLander) July 6, 2021