De La Rosa beats out incumbent for Assembly 72 seat

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Source: New York State Board of Elections. Credit: Sangsuk Sylvia Kang/The North Polls

By Emily Churchill, Danielle Prager, Emily Harris and Allana Haynes

Assembly District 72 was always going to be a tough race, with incumbent Democrat Guillermo Linares facing multiple rivalries from within his own party. But the result was relatively unexpected: political newcomer Carmen De La Rosa won the primary on September 13 with 46.2 percent of the vote.

De La Rosa’s win could be traced, in part, to the support of Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress Adriano Espaillat, who is the presumptive replacement for U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel. Espaillat endorsed both De La Rosa and Senate District 31 primary winner Marisol Alcantara after he called 2016 the “year of the woman.”

Espaillat has been dubbed “the kingmaker” by the New York Times, but perhaps after this election he should instead be called the queenmaker.

De La Rosa, 30, was appointed chief of staff to Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez in 2014 and was elected as a Democratic district leader for the 72nd Assembly District the following year. De La Rosa ran on a platform that focused on women’s rights, neighborhood beautification and educational improvement.

This is a difficult defeat for Linares, who held the seat from 2011 until 2013 and won it back in 2014. In 1992, Linares became the first Dominican to hold public office in New York City when he served on the City Council until 2001. Linares received 32.4 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary.

Democrat George Fernandez challenged De La Rosa and Linares. Recently introduced to North Manhattan politics, Fernandez served as chairman of Community Board 12 from 2013 to 2015 and is currently the council leader of Division 376 for the Public Employees Federation. He ran on his recovery from his troubled past, as well as his activity in local government and support of affordable housing initiatives. He received 8.2 percent of the primary vote.

Some 13.2 percent of the votes were blank, void or write-ins.

De La Rosa and Fernandez could not be reached to comment. Linares and his campaign manager Angel Audifferd declined to comment.

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Candidates out and about on election day

By Louis Baudoin-Laarman, Summer Meza, Danielle Prager, Somayeh Malekian, Allana Haynes, Abigail Morris

Above: Democrat incumbent O’Donnell of AD69 is campaigning for the primary by greeting people outside PS165. Credit: Somayeh Malekian/The North Polls

Above: Steven Appel’s message to residents after casting his vote at Grace United Methodist Church in AD69. Credit: Abigail Morris/The North Polls

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De La Rosa shares platform with members of the community. Credit: Allana Haynes/The North Polls
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De La Rosa hands out campaign fliers to passersby on Sherman Avenue. Credit: Allana Haynes/The North Polls
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De La Rosa encourages the community to vote on election day. Credit: Allana Haynes/The North Polls
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De La Rosa receives support from her biggest fan, her father. Credit: Allana Haynes/The North Polls

De La Rosa fights to unseat incumbent Linares

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Carmen De La Rosa commemorates the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Good Shepherd RC Church in Inwood  on Saturday. Credit: Allana Haynes/The North Polls

By Allana Haynes

Carmen N. De La Rosa, 30, is running for the District 72 Assembly seat against George Fernandez and incumbent Guillermo Linares in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

She was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to Inwood as a child. She was first person in her family to attend college, graduating from Fordham University with a degree in political science and a certification in peace and justice studies.

She was appointed chief of staff to Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez in 2014, representing Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill, and was elected as a Democratic district leader for the 72nd Assembly District in 2015.

She completed the Coro Leadership Institute, a civic leadership training program, in May and currently serves as a Democratic district leader of the 72nd Assembly District.

She currently resides on the same street she was raised with her fiancé, Jose and daughter, Mia, 2.

De La Rosa received $36,409 in contributions in 2016, according to the state Board of Elections.

“I can be that leader that will unify our community, that will stand up to the challenges at hand and take into consideration our community when making decisions,” said De La Rosa in an interview.

Her Campaign Platform:

  • Protect and enhance women’s rights
  • Ensure safe, beautiful streets and parks uptown
  • Protect the environment
  • Improve education