Caribbean candidates triumphant in preliminary NY Primary elections results

NYC Public Advocate,Jumaane D. Williams.
Kevin Fagan

Several Caribbean candidates are leading in the unofficial results of Tuesday’s New York Primary elections with ranked-choice voting, used for the first time in the city’s elections, delaying the official declaration of a winner even up to mid-July.

New York City voters, for the first time, were able to rank candidates according to their preferences.

The city’s Board of Elections said that more than 191,000 New Yorkers cast ballots during the early voting period.

The board also said that it received about 220,000 requests for absentee ballots.

The Board of Elections said it will release, on June 29, the first set of official results from the ranked-choice voting process, including only votes from early in-person and election day voters, not absentee ballots.

On July 6, the board said it will again release the results of the ranked-choice voting process, including processed absentee ballots.

Afterwards, the board said it will report results every Tuesday until all the ballots are counted.

Even so, based on the Board of Elections’ preliminary results from Election Day voting on Tuesday, Caribbean candidates Jumaane Williams, Farah Louis, Rita Joseph, Mercedes Narcisse and Crystal Hudson are leading in the in-person ballot.

With 83.99 percent of the precincts reporting, Williams, the incumbent New York City Public Advocate and son of Grenadian immigrants, is way ahead of his nearest challenger, Anthony Herbert.

Williams garnered 486,538 votes, or 71 percent, to Herbert’s 144,922 votes, or 21.2 percent. Theo Tavarez is a distant third, with 53,551 or 7.8 percent.

Williams’s primary campaign issues were ensuring a just COVID-19 recovery, redefining public safety, and increasing government transparency and accountability  .

Brooklyn Council Member Farah N. Louis addresses ‘Cel-Liberation’ Rally. Brooklyn Council Member Farah N. Louis office

“Our city needs a Public Advocate who can effectively be an activist elected official, with more than just politics, bringing the voice of everyday New Yorkers into the halls of government,” he said.

“As New York City’s current Public Advocate, I pledge to continue to combine activism and legislation to help make our city a truly progressive beacon, and fight for a just and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Williams added.

The office of New York City Public Advocate is a citywide elected position, which is first in line to succeed the mayor.

The office serves as a direct link between the electorate and city government, effectively acting as an ombudsman, or watchdog, for New Yorkers.

For New York City Comptroller, Brian Benjamin, the Harvard-educated son of a Guyanese mother and Jamaican father, came a distant fourth in a 10-way race, receiving 56,377 votes, or 7.7 percent.

Brad Lander, with 229,021 votes, or 31.4 percent, is leading the contest, with 83.99 percent of the precincts reporting.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is second, with 164, 858 votes, or 22.6 percent.

For Brooklyn Borough President, Haitian-born, New York City Councilman Dr. Mathieu Eugene and Kari Edwards, the son of Trinidadian and Guyanese immigrants, are fourth and fifth, respectively.

Trisha Ocona — a community leader and small business owner, whose mother is Jamaican and her father Venezuelan — is a distant ninth.

With 91.1 percent of precincts reporting, Dr. Eugene — who represents the predominantly Caribbean 40th Council District in Brooklyn and is prevented from seeking another term because of the city’s term limit laws – has garnered 20,570 votes, or 8.1 percent, in the race that involves 11 other candidates.

Edwards has secured 15,912 votes, or 6.3 percent; and Ocona received 7,791votes, or 3.1 percent.

New York City Councilman Antonio Reynoso is leading the race with 71,751 votes, or 28.2 percent. His City Council colleague, Robert Cornegy, is second, with 48,796 votes, or 19.2 percent.

In Queens, the incumbent Borough President, Donovan Richards, who traces his roots to Jamaica, is in a tight race with his closest challenger, Elizabeth Crowley.

With 76.64 percent of precincts reporting, Richards is leading with 64,814 votes, or 41.7 percent, to Crowley’s 62,738 votes, or 40.4 percent.

James Van Bramer, the other candidate, has received 27,813 votes, or 17.9 percent.

Crystal Hudson. Crystal Hudson’s campaign

In Brooklyn’s 35th Council District, Crystal Hudson, the daughter and granddaughter of Jamaican immigrants, is leading the seven-way race that includes Renee Collymore, the daughter of a Barbadian father.

Hudson is trying to succeed term-limited City Council Member Laurie Cumbo in the district that comprises the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and a portion of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Hudson has received 12,308 votes, or 38.6 percent. Her closest challenger, Michael Hollingsworth, has secured 11,017 votes, or 34.5 percent.

Collymore, a former Democratic District Leader and daughter the late Barbadian immigrant, Cecil Collymore, is third, with 4,000 votes, or 12.5 percent.

If Hudson is eventually declared the official winner, she will be the first openly gay Black woman elected to the New York City Council.

In the race to succeed Dr. Eugene, another Haitian is leading the race among 10 other candidates in Brooklyn’s 40th Council District.

Rita Joseph, a longtime public school teacher and community activist in Brooklyn, is ahead of her Haitian-born compatriot Josue Pierre, who is in second place.

Joseph has earned 5,060 votes, or 25.3 percent, to Pierre’s 4,073 votes, or 20.4 percent.

Two other Haitians — Edwin Raymond, a New York Police Department (NYPD) lieutenant, and Maxi Eugene, Dr. Eugene’s brother — have also contested the seat in the district that comprises the neighborhoods of Ditmas Park, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Lefferts Garden and Southern Crown Heights.

Raymond is fourth with 1,636 votes, or 8.2 percent, and Eugene is seventh with 992 votes, or 5 percent.

Two Guyanese — community activist John Williams and lawyer Victor Jordan — are also in the race. Williams is ninth, with 601votes, or 3 percent; and Jordan last, securing only 303 votes, or 1.5 percent.

In the adjacent, 45th Council District, which is also heavily Caribbean-populated, the incumbent, Haitian American New York City Council Member, Farah N. Louis, is poised to win the seat by a landslide.

With 82. 64 percent of the precinct reporting, Louis, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, is far ahead of her closest rival, Jamaican American Anthony Beckford, a US Marine veteran and community activist.

Louis has received 12,812 votes, or 76 percent, to Beckford’s (the son of Jamaican immigrants) 3,335 votes, or 19.8 percent.

The other contender, Cyril Joseph, has received 707 votes, or 4.2 percent.

In the race for representation in the 46th Council District in Brooklyn, Haitian-born registered nurse, Mercedes Narcisse is leading in the eight-way contest.

With 83.48 percent of precincts reporting, Narcisse — who was endorsed by veteran New York State Assemblyman Jamaican N. Nick Perry, representative for the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn – has received 5,856 votes, or 35.9 percent.

Narcisse’s closest rival, Shirley Paul, garnered 2,694, or 16.5 percent. Haitian community worker Gardy Brazela received 2,378 votes, or 14.6 percent, to take the third spot.

Retired NYPD detective Barbadian Dr. Judy Newton is fifth with 1,422 votes, or 8.7 percent; and Guyanese Dimple Willabus is sixth with 1,199 votes, or 7.3 percent.

“The love I have for the community, the community loves me back,” Narcisse told Caribbean Life about her lead early Wednesday morning. “The pandemic has highlighted the issues. And I’m ready to address the issues that affect us.

“And I’m here to represent every single family in our district,” she added about the Brooklyn district that includes the neighborhoods of Canarsie and Flatlands. “I will create more access in our community in health care, in housing, in education. And, together, we can improve the quality of life.

“The hard work of the community — Assemblyman Nick Perry, Omar Boucher (Jamaican political strategist) — I got everybody’s support: Black, Jewish, Jamaican, Trinidadian, Guyanese, Haitians,” Narcisse continued. “Everybody came together.”

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