Longtime Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr. seeks to sweep another election

Assemblyman Herman Farrell has represented District 71 since the 1970s. Credit: New York State Assembly

By Emily Churchill

Democrat Herman D. Farrell, Jr., has a long history in State Assembly District 71. This lifelong Harlem resident has represented his neighborhood since 1974 and has been chair of the Ways and Means Committee since 1994.

He faces Republican Vanessa Stanback in the general election on November 8.

Farrell, 84, won his last election in 2014 with 93.5 percent of the vote, according to Ballotpedia. In addition to Ways and Means, Farrell serves on the Rules Committee, the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus and the Puerto Rican / Hispanic Task Force.

Among his accomplishments are the passage of the Ominbus Consumer Protection and Banking Legislation Act and the Neighborhood Preservation Companies Act. The former includes such provisions as requiring banks to provide low-cost lifeline checking accounts, and the latter allows states to grant money to tenant advocacy groups. His most recent actions include touring the conversion of Public School 186 into affordable apartments and a Boys & Girls Club. The ribbon-cutting for this project is scheduled for October.

He has three children and two granddaughters.

As of September 10, Farrell has raised $102,250 in contributions for 2015 and 2016, according to the New York State Board of Elections.

Farrell’s significant focuses are:

Farrell is involved with the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus’ scholarship program and frequently visits local schools and organizations to discuss education funding and school quality. In addition, as chair of Ways and Means, Farrell supported the 2016-2017 state budget, which increased education aid by $1.47 billion. 

Farrell visits and speaks with members of his community frequently to clarify and discuss concerns relating to the cost of housing. He co-sponsored Bill A07526, which deals with enhancing “tenant protections for rent regulated tenants.”

Farrell wants to increase the usage of green technology, not only for the positive ecological impact, but also for improving air quality. In addition, Farrell has raised concerns about the environmental impact of hydrofracking (a process in which highly pressurized water is driven into a drilled well to extract natural gas) throughout New York.


Republican Girodes runs a third time for state senate

Jon Girodes attends an event for the Women’s National Republicans Club. Credit: Campaign website

By Tom Piccolo

Jon Girodes is hoping the third time is the charm for his bid to represent heavily Democratic Harlem in the statehouse. 

Girodes, 39, is running as a Republican for State Senate in Manhattan’s 30th District, where he will square off against incumbent Bill Perkins in November for the second time in two years. 

In 2014, Girodes came up short, garnering 4.6 percent of the vote to Perkins’ 87 percent. In 2010, prior to 2012 redistricting, he ran for State Senator of District 28 against incumbent Jose Serrano. He won 7 percent of the vote, compared to Serrano’s 91 percent.

Girodes and his two brothers were raised by their single mother in East Harlem. He graduated from Northeastern University in 2000 with a finance/economics degree. Since 2007, he has worked as the founder and CEO of Girodes Incorporated, a tax accounting firm that also provides credit and debt counseling services.

Girodes has raised $0 for his campaign, according to the state Board of Elections. He also has a GoFundMe page that has no contributions.

“They call me Trump Junior,” says Girodes, referring to his candid, “meat-and-potatoes” personality.

Campaign Platform

  • Will cut down on long-term government assistance programs to promote financial independence
  • Will work to improve air quality and water potability
  • Strongly supports charter schools
  • Pledges to “provide fair and even distribution of affordable housing to those in need”
  • Will improve roads by filling potholes


Covering the state primaries

The first Dominican woman stands to be elected to the state Senate, beating three men to represent Democrats in the district sprawling along western Manhattan. Another Latina defeated an incumbent in a race to the Assembly. And the first gay Assemblyman kept hold of his seat.

Columbia Journalism Students hit the streets of North Manhattan (including Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood and Morningside Heights) to cover the state primaries of September 13. Of particular note in these elections were the races of State Senate District 31 and Assembly Districts 70 and 72.

On this site, you will find the results of the three contested primaries, coverage of election day and biographies of the candidates from North Manhattan.