District 31


(Above: Senate District 31 Polling Stations)

A four-way race for Senate District 31

State Senate District 31 is scene of a contentious race to replace Democratic incumbent Adriano Espaillat, who is stepping down after winning the June primary for the seat being vacated by longtime Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel.

Espaillat is endorsing a fellow Dominican Marisol Alcantara,  but there are three other candidates in this sprawling district that encompasses extremely different neighborhoods, from Chelsea to Inwood.  In the running are:

  • Robert Jackson, former member of the New York City Council, with the endorsement of a powerful teacher’s union.
  • Micah Lasher, former political strategist and first-time campaigner, with endorsements from various New York politicians and the Citizens Union.
  • Marisol Alcantara, a community activist with the support of labor unions across upper Manhattan.
  • Luis Tejada, a  teacher and tenants’ rights activist.

It’s a diverse slate of candidates reflecting a diverse district:  Jackson is African American, Lasher is white and Alcantara and Tejeda both Dominicans.  The winner will need to appeal to voters beyond a narrow interest group. Jackson touts support from influential public education advocates, Alcantara is backed by large labor organizations as well as the Independent Democratic Conference that has aligned with State Senate Republicans, Lasher has powerful political connections and was endorsed by The New York Times, and Tejada says his working class background helps him represent the interests of many low income residents.

The winner in Tuesday’s Democratic primary will be the favorite to win the November election in this largely Democratic district.


Robert Jackson

Meet Robert Jackson. Credit: Campaign Website

Marisol Alcantara

Meet Marisol Alcantara. Credit: Nafisa Masud/The North Polls

Micah Lasher

Meet Micah Lasher. Elizabeth Haq/The North Polls

Luis Tejada

Meet Luis Tejada. Credit: Sangsuk Sylvia Kang/The North Polls

Republican: Melinda Crump

Conservative: John Toro

Green: Julia Willebrand