Campaigns & Elections

2021 New York City borough presidents primary election results

Tracking the initial results in each borough.

Robert Cornegy Jr.

Robert Cornegy Jr. lev radin/Shutterstock

This election, four out of the five borough presidents’ seats were open, which led to a significant number of candidates running for these largely ceremonial offices. Final results will not be certified until later this month, but preliminary results released on July 2 show City Council Member Antonio Reynoso with a sizable lead in Brooklyn and City Council Member Vanessa Gibson comfortably ahead in the Bronx. Other races, including in Queens and in the Republican primary in Staten Island, are still too close to call. In Staten Island, embattled former Congress Member Vito Fosella was just behind City Council Member Steven Matteo, and in Queens, incumbent Donovan Richards was neck and neck with Elizabeth Crowley.

In Brooklyn, the incumbent Borough President Eric Adams is term limited and running for New York City mayor. Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island incumbents, Ruben Diaz Jr., Gale Brewer and James Oddo, are all term-limited, though Brewer is running for City Council in District 6. Only Queens borough president incumbent Donovan Richards – who was first elected in a special election in 2020 – is running for reelection. Voters are using the new ranked-choice voting system to select new borough presidents, ranking up to five candidates in order of preference on their ballots. 

Borough presidents champion causes that they feel are important to the communities in their borough. They may also introduce legislation into the City Council, but are unable to vote. They also share 5% of the city’s budget, which allows them to fund things like park renovations and supplies for schools. Additionally, they are able to provide guidance on the annual city budget and rezonings, give out grants and appoint representatives to both the City Planning Commission and community boards.

These results are as of July 2.


Democratic Party

Incumbent: Eric Adams, who is term limited and running for mayor. 

July 2 preliminary ranked choice tabulation results

Antonio Reynoso: 55.3%

Jo Anne Simon: 44.7%

Election night first-choice results

Antonio Reynoso: 28.16%

Jo Anne Simon: 17.61%

Robert Cornegy Jr.: 19.15%

Mathieu Eugene: 8.07%

Kimberly Council: 5.6%

Khari Edwards: 6.24%

Robert Ramos: 3.47%

Anthony T. Jones: 3.06%

Trisha Ocona: 3.06%

Robert Elstein: 2.22%

Pearlene Fields: 1.7%

Lamor Miller Whitehead: 1.45%

96.85% of scanners reported.

Many sitting politicians are looking to transition into this office, which has been kind to previous holders, including mayoral candidate Eric Adams. New York City Council members Robert Cornegy, Jr. and Antonio Reynoso were considered front-runners and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon also has name recognition. Activists Kimberly Council and Khari Edwards offer a perspective from outside politics. Menachem Raitport, a local butcher, is running unopposed on the Republican party line.


Democratic Party

Incumbent: Gale Brewer, who is term limited and running for City Council District 6.

July 2 preliminary ranked choice tabulation results

Mark Levine: 54.4%

Brad Hoylman: 45.6%

Election night first-choice results

Mark Levine: 28.67%

Brad Hoylman: 25.66%

Ben Kallos: 12.18%

Lindsey Boylan: 10.41%

Elizabeth Caputo: 9.82%

Guillermo A. Perez: 7.29%

Kimberly Watkins: 5.74%

98.44% of scanners reported.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman, along with New York City Council Members Ben Kallos and Mark Levine have each raised over $1.5 million for their campaigns. Lindsey Boylan, who worked for the state deputy secretary for Economic Development and Housing has gained a lot of recognition for being the first woman to accuse Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct. Lou Puliafito, an “overnight doorman,” is running unopposed on the Republican party line.


Democratic Party

Incumbent: Donovan Richards: 41.53%

July 2 preliminary ranked choice tabulation results

Donovan Richards: 51.1%

Elizabeth Crowley: 48.9%

Election night first-choice results

Elizabeth Crowley: 40.2%

Jimmy Van Bramer: 17.82%

95.45% of scanners reported.

Incumbent Queens Borough President Donovan Richards is hoping to win reelection. Elizabeth Crowley is a former City Council member who previously lost to Richards by 7 percentage points in the 2020 primary and is coming surprisingly close to catching him this time around. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has been endorsed by state Sen. Jessica Ramos and mayoral candidate Dianne Morales. Thomas Zmich, a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, is running unopposed on the Republican party line.

Staten Island

Democratic Party

July 2 preliminary ranked choice tabulation results

Mark Murphy: 65.4%

Lorie Honor: 34.6%

Election night first-choice results

Mark Murphy: 46.23%

Lorie Honor: 20.96%

Cesar Vargas: 14.69%

Brandon Stradford: 9.51%

Radhakrishna Mohan: 7.40%

97.89% of scanners reported.

It’s doubtful that any of these candidates will end up being borough president in the long run, considering the last time a Democrat was voted borough president was in 1989, but these candidates are still pushing forward.

Republican Party

Incumbent: Jimmy Oddo, who is term limited.

July 2 preliminary ranked choice tabulation results

Steven Matteo: 50.1%

Vito Fossella: 49.9%

Election night first-choice results

Vito Fossella: 42.21%

Steven Matteo: 41.01%

Leticia Remauro: 13.45%

Jhong Uhk Kim: 2.63%

97.89% of scanners reported.

Staten Island will be the only borough to have a Republican primary for the borough president this year, and it’s likely that another member of the party could be victorious again. New York City Council Member Steven Matteo has won the support of the Staten Island GOP and iswas the candidate to beat in this race, but Vito Fossella, a scandal-plagued former member of Congress, snagged an endorsement from former President Donald Trump and closely trails Matteo. 


Democratic Party

Incumbent: Ruben Diaz, Jr. who is term-limited and not seeking another office.

July 2 preliminary ranked choice tabulation results

Vanessa Gibson: 53%

Fernando Cabrera: 47%

Election night first-choice results

Vanessa Gibson: 39.23%

Fernando Cabrera: 34.28%

Nathalia Fernández: 14.22%

Luis Sepúlveda: 9.88%

Samuel Ravelo: 1.87%

95.06% of scanners reported.

Should either Council Member Vanessa Gibsonwin the primary, she would likely end up being the first female Bronx borough president. However, Council Member Fernando Cabrera was the machine party pick and has outraised most of his competitors.