Election update: Key races left uncalled; ballot counting is well underway

Editor’s note: The Pelham Examiner will not provide incomplete or partial results in election coverage. Further election updates will be published as more results become available.  

Facing a pandemic and nationwide questions about race and policing in America, New Yorkers joined the voters of several states going to the polls on Tuesday. With key races up and down the ballot and absentee balloting featured prominently in order to limit crowding at polling placing, full results and winners may not be known for days.

Alongside the uncertainty of a results timeline, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams reported via his official Instagram “we are aware of irregularities with voting with today’s primary election and are closely monitoring the situation.” Specifics on what irregularities occurred and in what boroughs or precincts they happened were not released.

The key race of the night occurred in the 16th Congressional District, which includes Pelham, Southern Westchester and parts of the Bronx. The race quickly gained national attention, with progressive Bronx principal Jamaal Bowman challenging powerful incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel, who wields the gavel of the House Foreign Relations Committee. Also in the race is Pelham resident Chris Fink.

Jamaal Bowman (top left), Chris Fink (bottom left), Eliot Engel (top right), and Andom Ghebreghiorgis (bottom right)

Eyes across the country have been on this race for the past few weeks as the progressive movement increasingly began to consolidate behind Bowman. Andom Ghebreghiorgis, another progressive challenger to Engel, consolidated the progressive vote by endorsing Bowman. Following these endorsements, powerful establishment figures including Hillary Clinton and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi came out in support of Engel, and key progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders backed Bowman. Bowman was also endorsed by the Working Families Party and will appear on that line on the November ballot, though it is unclear if he plans to contest it if he loses the Democratic nomination.

State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi spoke at a Bowman rally, live-streamed on Twitter Tuesday night, referring to him as a “transformational leader,” and noting that as the world changes, leaders have to change with the times. Speaking at the same rally, Bowman spoke of his background and upbringing as well as its impact on his views, saying he felt that his movement is designed to return faith to those who were failed by the government.

“The results show that this district is demanding change,” said Bowman. “This is what this district has been waiting for. This is what this country has been waiting for. And we are all here now together. So I am excited.”

Biaggi, a PMHS alumna who is currently the chairwoman of the the Committee on Ethics and Internal Governance in the state senate, faced a primary challenger of her own in her bid for a second term representing the 34th State Senate District. James Gisondi, who is already on the November ballot as a Republican, also challenged Biaggi in the Democratic primary. During the last campaign cycle, Biaggi used the primary to unseat now-former State Sen. Jeff Klein, who was a leader of the Independent Democratic Caucus.

Image from www.biaggi4ny.com

Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president and the only candidate remaining in the race, was victorious by a wide margin in the primary. After a lengthy court battle between New York and the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang, the state was forced to reinstate the primary after initially removing all candidates except for Biden from the ballot after Biden became the presumptive nominee. A key factor in the primary is that the delegates selected can still influence party policy and the platform at the nominating convention later in the summer.

The primary for the Democratic nominee for Westchester County district attorney took on new significance in recent weeks, with prosecution of police misconduct rising in importance for many voters. Former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah challenged incumbent Anthony Scarpino, with Rocah lining up endorsements from prominent national figures including Clinton as well as local figures such as Biaggi. Scarpino was endorsed by several local officials, including Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.

In national news, influential progressive Bronx Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared victory via Twitter over a field of three other candidates to once again be the Democratic nominee from the 14th Congressional District. Among other prominent New York Democrats, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler declared victory via Twitter late Tuesday night, while House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries did not face primary challengers.

Nearby, in the 17th Congressional District (North/Central Westchester and Rockland County), there was a competitive race to succeed retiring Rep. Nita Lowey, with progressives largely consolidating behind Mondaire Jones, and a variety of other candidates representing different wings of the party, including State Sen. David Carlucci, formerly of the Independent Democratic Caucus; former Obama administration official Evelyn Farkas, and Assemblyman David Buchwald. 

In the New York Republican primaries, all four incumbent representatives, including prominent moderates Reps. John Katko and Elise Stefanik, ran unopposed. 

Assemblymember Amy Paulin (Pelham Examiner file photo)

Paulin ran unopposed in the primary and will appear on the Democratic, Working Families and Serve America Movement lines in November.