Assemblymen Daniel O’Donnell, 55, fended off competition tonight from political newcomer Steven Appel, 31, and held on to his District 69 seat in Albany.
O’Donnell, who has been in office since he was elected in 2002, received 73.3 percent of the vote, according to the New York State Board of Elections.
O’Donnell had not responded to a request to comment by the time of publication.
His competitor Steven Appel received 19.9 percent of the vote. Appel said, “I am deeply grateful to my beloved family and friends for their extraordinary support over the course of this campaign.
“I am very proud of the campaign we ran and I could not have done it without them. I am also honored to have earned the votes of so many members of our community here in the 69th Assembly District. We will continue to fight for a more innovative and unifying politics.”
Almost 6 percent of votes were left blank and of the almost 60,000 active enrolled Democrats in the district, only 9,501 voted in the primary.
O’Donnell will next be on the ballot for the general election on Nov. 8. He will face Republican Stephen Garrin, who ran unopposed in the primaries.
On a quiet Tuesday night in Inwood, as sidewalk squares cool after hours baking in the midday sun, the residents of upper Manhattan dance. But they’re not dancing for the change in temperature — they’ve got bigger things to celebrate. The results of all but one election district touted Marisol Alcantara as the victor of the contested primary race for New York Senate District 31. With this win, she’s become a trailblazer that — if elected in November — stands to be the first female Latina state senator in New York history.
While the final votes were being counted and local news flashed Alcantara’s growing margin of victory on screens across Manhattan, the Dominican native’s supporters waited patiently outside 809 Sangria Bar & Grill.
They busied themselves with music and warm recollections of the campaign. Marilu Galvan, a long-time friend and advocate, wasn’t just here to dance.
“It’s the people’s right to vote and get involved in the system because it’s the only way to get power. She [Alcantara] represents the whole gamut of the community, and that’s very important for people to understand. She’s prepared to work and protect every single member of the community, and that’s what brings me here.”
Inside the lounge the crowd grew, and applause erupted as Alcantara, dressed in red, finally appeared with Congressman-elect Adriano Espaillat and Democratic Assembly nominee Carmen De La Rosa in tow.
Espaillat introduced the victorious Alcantara, praising her skills as a mother and activist, adding (in Spanish), “She’s also concerned for the most poor, the most needy in this community.”
Adriano Espaillat's kind introduction to Marisol Alcantara on the night of her victory as NY state senate nominee pic.twitter.com/7AL9HA11HU
Alcantara then took the microphone, thanking the state senators there in support, including Jeff Klein (D-34) and David Carlucci (D-38), as well as the members of the several labor unions who endorsed her political run. Alcantara said,”Even though people said ‘Nobody knows her, or where she’s from’, … out of all the people in New York we’re the ones that thought the senate needed a little bit of spice.”
Alcantara then proceeded to thank others, including her running mates Robert Jackson, Micah Lasher and Luis Tejada, and ended the night with a powerful message for both her voters and the next generation. Hear it here:
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.
State Senate candidate Robert Jackson prepares to vote at the Fort Washington Collegiate Church on 181st St on Tuesday morning. Credit: Summer Meza/The North Polls
Espaillat coming out from voting polls. Credit: Summer Meza/The North Polls
By Summer Meza
After casting a vote for himself in Washington Heights, State Senate candidate Robert Jackson claimed that he is more “for the people” than his competitor Marisol Alcantara, who has run a campaign on her grassroots background.
“I feel the way I do when I’m finishing a marathon,” said Jackson. “Tired, but excited that I’m so close. My main competition today is apathy from voters.”
Minutes after Jackson left the Fort Washington Collegiate Church polling station, the man who defeated him for the same Senate seat two years ago, Adriano Espaillat, cast his vote. Espaillat, who is now the Democratic candidate to replace U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel, is backing fellow Dominican Alcantara as his successor.
“I am very optimistic,” said Espaillat after casting his vote. “I think we’re gonna come out in big numbers today. God is with us.”
Despite support from the incumbent for Alcantara, there is still a sense that Jackson’s history with the neighborhood could help him. He served twelve years as a City Council member before resigning because of term limits.
“I’ve seen him around for 20 years, he seems to know the people and the neighborhood,” said Lazaro Rodriguez, a voter and Washington Heights resident. “I’ve never heard anyone talk bad about him. He’s of the people, that’s all I’ve ever heard.”