Primary news: Tish moves forward, Salazar stuns Dilan

Primary news: Tish moves forward, Salazar stuns Dilan
Photo by Caroline Ourso

Former Fort Greene Councilwoman and New York City’s sitting Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James is one step closer to becoming the state’s first black attorney general after Democratic voters statewide elected her as their party’s nominee in Thursday’s New York State primaries. And James wasn’t the only self-described progressive candidate who claimed the blue party’s line in the elections — Democratic Socialist Julia Salazar formidably defeated eight-term Bushwick state Sen. Martin Malave Dilan, and in Crown Heights, attorney Zellnor Myrie won over sitting state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, a former Independent Democratic Conference member. Other incumbents, however, cruised to victory, including Gov. Cuomo, who is now primed for his third term as the state’s top pol. Read on for our roundup of the primary-election results:

Governor, Democratic

Gov. Cuomo sailed to victory on Thursday night, handily defeating his rival, political novice and “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon, even in the face of criticism that the Queens-born incumbent failed New Yorkers by not maintaining the beleaguered subway system — a centerpiece of his challenger’s campaign — and after the Democratic Party sent out a controversial mailer accusing Nixon of anti-Semitism.

Cuomo, who raked in some in 944,254 votes to Nixon’s 498,618 by the time roughly 97 percent of the ballots were counted, is now all but certain to be a three-term governor like his father, Mario Cuomo, but still faces a challenge in November from Republican Marc Molinaro — who will also be on the Conservative and Reform tickets — and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins.

Lieutenant Governor, Democratic

Cuomo’s second-in-command, Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul, narrowly beat Midwood Councilman Jumaane Williams in her quest for a second term alongside the governor.

The Buffalo-born Hochul faced a stiff challenge from the self-proclaimed progressive, but ultimately prevailed, netting some 702,972 votes to Williams’s 617,397 with roughly 96 percent of ballots counted after a neck-and-neck race.

With the win, Hochul goes on to face Republican Julie Killian in November.

Attorney General, Democratic

Tish James, who represented Fort Greene in Council for nine years before voters elected her to her current office of New York City’s Public Advocate, defeated three other competitors to score the Democratic nomination in the race to replace disgraced former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

James, who received several blockbuster endorsements, including nods from Cuomo and rapper Nicki Minaj, earned some 513,777 votes by the time roughly 90 percent of the ballots were counted, with challengers Zephyr Teachout, at 398,907 votes, Sean Patrick Maloney, at 318,968 votes, and Leecia Eve, at 43,797 votes, trailing behind.

The Brooklynite will go on to duke it out with Republican nominee Keith Wofford, Green Party candidate Michael Sussman, and Independence Party nominee Vincent Messina in November.

18th State Senate District, Democratic

Democratic Socialist of America candidate and political novice Julia Salazar bested state Sen. Martin Malave Dilan in one of the night’s major upsets, despite revelations that the newcomer lied about being a Colombian immigrant while on the trail, and that she was previously registered as a Republican.

Salazar, who ran a grass-roots campaign buoyed by endorsements including that of fellow Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, secured some 19,888 votes to Dilan’s 14,039 by the time roughly 94 percent of ballots were counted, and will go on to represent parts of Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bedford-Stuyvesant, East New York, and Brownsville up in Albany as she faces no general-election challengers from other parties.

22nd State Senate District, Democratic

Andrew Gounardes won the Democratic nomination in the district encompassing Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, and parts of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, and Midwood. The county-backed candidate — who had the support of borough Democratic party boss Frank Seddio and other local party leaders — won his place on the ballot by beating back former journalist Ross Barkan, nabbing some 8,552 votes to Barkan’s 6,229 after nearly all ballots were counted.

In November, Gounardes will face off with eight-term incumbent Republican state Sen. Marty Golden — who defeated him by about 10,000 votes in a previous race for the seat back in 2012.

17th State Senate District, Democratic

Incumbent state Sen. Simcha Felder comfortably prevailed over his challenger, attorney Blake Morris, winning some 15,197 votes to Morris’s 7,854 after nearly all ballots cast on Thursday were counted.

Felder, who has represented parts of Borough Park, Midwood, and Flatbush as a Democrat since 2012, will return to Albany for another two-year term, as he is also running on the Republican line in the general election.

20th State Senate District, Democratic

Brooklyn lawyer Zellnor Myrie, who has never held elected office, won an impressive victory over incumbent state Sen. Jesse Hamilton to nab the Democratic party line, capitalizing on resentment that many true blues held over Hamilton’s caucusing with Republicans as a member of the Independent Democratic Conference until the body dissolved in April.

Myrie earned some 21,527 votes to Hamilton’s 18,080 by the time roughly 95 percent of ballots were counted, but his primary victory doesn’t assure him a seat in Albany, as he’ll face the sitting senator again in November’s general election, when Hamilton runs on the Independence Party line.

23rd State Senate District, Democratic

Incumbent state Sen. Diane Savino easily beat her left-leaning challenger, political newcomer Jasmine Robinson, who was endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez, Nixon, and the Working Families Party.

Savino, who caucused with Republicans as a member of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference, has represented parts of Bensonhurst, Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Dyker Heights, Gravesend and Sunset Park, as well as Staten Island since 2004, and won some 11,714 votes to Robinson’s 3,592 with roughly 94 percent of ballots counted.

She will go on to face Republican David Krainert in the November general election.

46th State Assembly District, Democratic

The race between the two candidates battling to claim the open seat representing Bath Beach, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Coney Island, and Dyker Heights vacated by disgraced Assemblywoman Pamela Harris was too close to call by press time, with Columbia and New York University professor Mathylde Frontus and Ethan Lustig-Elgrably, a former Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Coney Island Councilman Mark Treyger, about 100 votes apart after roughly 84 percent of ballots were counted.

Frontus held a thin lead with 3,030 votes to Lustig-Elgrably’s 2,915, and the results will be updated as more ballots come in.