New York City

2021 New York City Council primary election results

Carlina Rivera, Rafael Salamanca Jr. and Farah Louis sailed to reelection. More competitive races are still too close to call.

The New York City Council chamber.

The New York City Council chamber. Felix Lipov/Shutterstock

New York City voters’ first major tryout of ranked-choice voting may be over, but now the work of tallying votes – including absentee ballots still yet to be returned – begins. As of late Tuesday night, few of the more than 300 candidates in three dozen open City Council districts were decisively declaring victory or conceding defeat.

While Council Members Carlina Rivera, Rafael Salamanca Jr. and Farah Louis were a few of the Democrats to face primaries as incumbents, those challenges weren’t particularly competitive and each of the incumbents swon easy victories. And a few new City Council candidates also won, with Democrat Jennifer Gutierrez and Republican Joann Ariola, who The New York Times declared as the winners in the 34th and 32nd Council Districts, respectively.

But most of the more competitive primary contests had yet to be called as of late Tuesday. That’s hardly a surprise. The results released by the city Board of Elections on Tuesday night consisted of voters’ first-choice votes, and only those that were cast in-person. Absentee ballots aren’t due until June 29, and the official results in the primaries aren’t expected until mid-July. 

Still, some candidates maintained promising, if not presumptive, leads in the initial round of ballot counting. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer appears to have a very good chance of heading back to her old council stomping grounds. However, Council Member Darma Diaz was far behind challenger Sandy Nurse. And Erik Bottcher could very well end up winning former boss Corey Johnson’s old seat.

District 1


Incumbent: Margaret Chin, who is term-limited


Christopher Marte: 40.14%

Jenny Low: 17.45%

Gigi Li: 15.77%

Maud Maron: 8.66%

Susan Lee: 7.80%

Sean Hayes: 3.76%

Tiffany Johnson-Winbush: 3.47%

Susan Damplo: 1.50%

Denny Salas: 1.25%

99% of scanners reported.

With the majority of precincts reporting in-person ballot results on Tuesday night, progressive Christopher Marte maintained a strong lead in his second go at this seat. Trailing Marte was Jenny Low, a longtime local power broker who works for Council Speaker Corey Johnson and has grabbed major endorsements from Rep. Nydia Velázquez, District Council 37 and the United Federation of Teachers. Almost neck and neck with Low is Gigi Li, who’s currently Chin’s chief of staff, has the current member’s support, leads in total fundraising and got a boost from mayoral candidate Andrew Yang’s endorsement.

District 6


Incumbent: Helen Rosenthal, who is term-limited


Gale Brewer: 53.74%

Maria Danzilo: 14.99%

Sara Lind: 13.63%

Jeffrey Omura: 10.38%

David Gold: 4.58%

Zachary Tov Weiner: 2.53%

98.78% of scanners reported.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is well positioned for another two years in the City Council. With over 90% of ballot scanners reporting late Tuesday night, Brewer led with over 50% of first-choice in-person votes. There are still absentee ballots to be counted, but top competitors Maria Danzilo, Sara Lind and Jeffrey Omura are significantly behind at the moment.

District 7


Incumbent: Mark Levine, who is term-limited and running for Manhattan borough president


Shaun Abreu: 27.35%

Daniel Cohen: 10.97%

Marti Gould Allen-Cummings: 11.83%

Maria Ordoñez: 11.51%

Stacy Lynch: 10.08%

Luis Tejada: 8.12%

Keith Harris: 5.04%

Corey Ortega: 4.17%

Carmen Quinones: 3.28%

Miguel Estrella: 3.55%

Raymond Sanchez Jr.: 2.18%

Lena Melendez: 1.60%

99% of scanners reported.

Late Tuesday night, Shaun Abreu – a tenants’ rights attorney and ally of Rep. Adriano Espaillat – maintained a decent lead in the crowded field to replace Mark Levine. Following Abreu were Marti Gould Allen-Cummings, Maria Ordoñez, Daniel Cohen and Stacy Lynch who had each amassed 10% to 12% of the votes counted so far. Luis Tejada, who ran for this seat in 2013, trailed farther behind.

District 9


Incumbent: Bill Perkins, who is running for reelection


Bill Perkins: 20.60%

Kristin Richardson Jordan: 19.33%

Athena Moore: 11.03%

Cordell Cleare: 10.06%

Mario Rosser: 8.75%

William Allen: 6.28%

Joshua Albert Clennon: 5.44%

Keith Taylor: 5.40%

Ruth McDaniels: 3.62%

Billy Council: 2.98%

Pierre Gooding: 2.74%

Sheba Simpson-Amsterdam: 2.27%

Bernadette McNear: 1.32%

96.15% of scanners reported.

City Council Member Bill Perkins faces a close race to hold on to his seat. With the majority of in-person votes counted in the first round, Kristin Richardson Jordan – a poet and publisher, and arguably the race’s most progressive candidate – is roughly 2 percentage points behind Perkins. Still, Perkins’ razor-thin lead is impressive, given he has barely campaigned at all. Athena Moore, who challenged Perkins in 2017, was in third place as of Tuesday night.

District 10


Incumbent: Ydanis Rodriguez, who is term-limited


Carmen De La Rosa: 39.89%

Johanna Garcia: 28.43%

Angela Fernández: 17.21%

James Behr: 3.47%

Francesca Castellanos: 3.20%

Josue Perez: 2.96%

Thomas Leon: 2.87%

Tirso Pina: 1.68%

94.12% of scanners reported.

A record of representing the district and a string of high-profile labor and lawmaker endorsements powered Carmen De La Rosa to a strong lead late Tuesday night, with the current Assembly member garnering roughly 40% of in-person votes in the first round of counting. It’s not a blowout lead for De La Rosa yet, however. Johanna Garcia, who served as chief of staff to then-Council Member Robert Jackson, followed roughly 13 percentage points behind.

District 14


Incumbent: Fernando Cabrera, who is term-limited and running for Bronx borough president


Pierina Ana Sanchez: 38.39%

Yudelka Tapia: 20.88%

Adolfo Abreu: 18.99%

Haile Rivera: 10.10%

Fernando Aquino: 9.66%

Socrates Solano: 1.69%

95.12% of scanners reported.

The race for Fernando Cabrera’s Bronx council seat is still up in the air asPierina Ana Sanchez, Adolfo Abreu and Yudelka Tapia led the early results from ballots cast in person. Sanchez, backed by major figures like Reps. Adriano Espaillat and Ritchie Torres, came out ahead with a decent lead, with over 80% of scanners reporting. Yudelka Tapia followed in second, and Adolfo Abreu – who is backed by the Democratic Socialists of America and Working Families Party – followed in a close third. Sanchez’s lead, while comfortable, is far from a guaranteed win.

District 18


Incumbent: Rubén Díaz Sr., who is retiring


Amanda Farías: 27.39%

William Rivera: 26.46%

Michael Beltzer: 12.83%

Mohammed Mujumder: 11.65%

Darlene Jackson: 10.72%

Mirza M. Rashid: 5.76%

William Russell Moore: 3.74%

Eliu A. Lara: 0.99%

84.16% of scanners reported.

As early results trickled in Tuesday night, Amanda Farías had a thin lead in her follow-up bid to replace Rubén Díaz Sr. Very close behind Farías is William Rivera, the district manager of Bronx Community Board 9. With no candidates amassing close to half of in-person voters’ first-choice votes, it’s far too soon to draw conclusions about this district.

District 19, Democratic Party


Incumbent: Paul Vallone, who is term-limited


Tony Avella: 37.10%

Richard Lee: 29.90%

Austin Shafran: 20.03%

Adriana Aviles: 8.46%

Francis Spangenberg: 2.53%

Nabaraj KC: 1.46%

99% of scanners reported.

Name recognition and a long political history appears to have helped Tony Avella score an early lead over his competitors for this Queens City Council seat, but Avella is followed fairly closely by Richard Lee, the budget director for the Queens borough president, and Austin Shafran, a political consultant. No candidate amassed close to half of the initial votes that were counted on Tuesday.

District 19, Republican Party



Vickie Paladino: 52.70%

John-Alexander Sakelos: 45.96%

99% of scanners reported.

One of the few competitive Republican primaries among our races to watch this year is also one of the closest. Vickie Paladino, a conservative activist, leads by nearly 7 percentage points over John-Alexander Sakelos, who challenged Assembly Member Ed Braunstein last year, after the first round of counting.

District 20


Incumbent: Peter Koo, who is term-limited


Sandra Ung: 24.28%

Ellen Young: 16.69%

Neng Wang: 14.98%

Anthony Miranda: 15.32%

John Choe: 16.56%

Hailing Chen: 6.44%

Dao Yin: 5.14%

Ming-Kang Low: 0.45%

97.53% of scanners reported.

The race to replace term-limited Peter Koo in Flushing is another close one, though Sandra Ung, an attorney and aide to Rep. Grace Meng, is working with a decent lead at the end of election night. But with nearly all scanners reporting and only roughly 25% of first-choice votes cast in person, Ung can’t declare victory yet. Former Assembly Member Ellen Young, Neng Wang, Anthony Miranda and John Choe are each within 10 percentage points of the leader late on Tuesday night.

District 22

Queens, Bronx

Incumbent: Costa Constantinides, who resigned from office before his term ended


Tiffany Cabán: 49.32%

Evie Hantzopoulos: 26.26%

John J. Ciafone: 9.35%

Leonardo T. Bullaro: 7.29%

Catherina Gioino: 4.73%

Nick Velkov: 2.87%

95.45% of scanners reported.

Can Tiffany Cabán win elected office and jump-start a democractic socialist faction of the City Council? By late Tuesday, she appeared to have a good chance of doing so, securing almost 50% of the first-choice votes cast in person, with almost all scanners reporting. Nonprofit leader Evie Hantzopoulos had a solid showing too, but falls almost 23 percentage points behind Cabán so far.

District 23


Incumbent: Barry Grodenchik, who is retiring


Linda Lee: 31.20%

Jaslin Kaur: 26.37%

Steve Behar: 13.24%

Debra Markell: 9.87%

Sanjeev Kumar Jindal: 9.34%

Koshy Thomas: 5.23%

Harpreet Singh Toor: 4.41%

91.92% of scanners reported.

The race is close between Linda Lee, a prominent nonprofit director, and organizer Jaslin Kaur, but by Wednesday, Lee pulled ahead by almost 5 percentage points. As votes continue to be updated, Kaur’s endorsements from the Democratic Socialists of America, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, could bolster her strong showing.

District 26


Incumbent: Jimmy Van Bramer, who is term-limited and running for Queens borough president


Julie Won: 18.47%

Amit Bagga: 17.65%

Brent O’Leary: 9.97%

Julia Forman: 8.05%

Denise Keehan-Smith: 6.83%

Ebony Young: 6.61%

Badrun Khan: 5.68%

Hailie Kim: 4.94%

Jonathan Bailey: 4.59%

Glennis Gomez: 3.53%

Emily Sharpe: 3.52%

Steven Raga: 3.03%

Jesse Laymon: 2.98%

Lorenzo Brea: 2.22%

Sultan Al Maruf: 1.67%

96.77% of scanners reported.

This crowded Democratic primary is too close to call, with lead candidates Amit Bagga and Julie Won still each under 20 percent of the vote. Bagga has been backed by the Working Families Party, progressives like Cynthia Nixon and state Sen. Jessica Ramos, and several labor unions.

District 27


Incumbent: I. Daneek Miller, who is term-limited


Nantasha Williams: 35.55%

James Johnson: 11.86%

Rene Hill: 10.15%

Al-Hassan Kanu: 8.37%

Jason Myles Clark: 7.83%

Marie Adam-Ovide: 7.54%

Kerryanne Burke: 5.41%

Harold Miller Jr.: 5.14%

Anthony Rivers: 3.11%

Jermaine Sean Smith: 1.98%

Leroy Gadsden: 1.89%

Linda Guillebeaux: 0.94%

99% of scanners reported.

Nantasha Williams is currently the leading candidate in one of the city’s most competitive races. Williams finished in a close second to Clyde Vanel in a 2016 Assembly primary race, and has the biggest endorsements, including from unions 32BJ SEIU and District Council 37. James Johnson, the candidate with the most individual contributions in the race, trails Williams by more than 20 percentage points.

District 28


Incumbent: Adrienne Adams, who is running for reelection


Adrienne Adams: 56.14%

Ruben Wills: 24.18%

Japneet Singh: 19.23%

99% of scanners reported.

Adrienne Adams, a first-term Democrat, had a strong lead with more than 50 percent of the first-place votes. Her opponents, including recently exonerated Ruben Wills, and Sikh activist Japneet Singh, are trailing well behind.

District 32


Incumbent: Eric Ulrich, a Republican, is term-limited


Felicia Singh: 36.23%

Michael Scala: 34.96%

Helal Sheikh: 9.94%

Bella Matias: 7.93%

Kaled Alamarie: 6.79%

Shaeleigh Severino: 2.50%

98.41% of scanners reported.

Michael Scala and Felicia Singh are locked in a close battle after the election night results came in from in-person voting. Scala, backed by state Sen. James Sanders Jr. and the United Federation of Teachers, and Singh, the top fundraiser in the race, will have to wait for the results of ranked-choice voting to determine the outcome. The winner will face Republican Joann Ariola in the November general election.

District 35


Incumbent: Laurie Cumbo, who is term-limited


Crystal Hudson: 38.49%

Michael Hollingsworth: 34.45%

Renee Collymore: 12.51%

Regina Kinsey: 4.63%

Curtis Harris: 4.49%

Deirdre Levy: 3.85%

Hector Robertson: 1.39%

98.80% of scanners reported.

In this district, the New York City Democratic Socialists of America helped elect a state senator and Assembly member over labor-backed progressives in 2020. But the DSA candidate, Michael Hollingsworth, is currently behind Crystal Hudson by approximately 4 percentage points. Hudson, the top fundraiser in this race, leads with nearly 40% of the first-choice votes.

District 36


Incumbent: Robert Cornegy Jr., who is term-limited and running for Brooklyn borough president


Chi Ossé: 37.23%

Henry Butler: 22.86%

Tahirah Moore: 22.85%

Robert Waterman: 14.09%

Reginald Swiney: 2.63%

94.85% of scanners reported.

On Tuesday night, progressive activist Chi Ossé held a decent lead in the race to replace Robert Cornegy Jr. Ossé has support from the Working Families Party, Council Member Brad Lander and rapper Killer Mike. Henry Butler, a local politics whiz, trailed Ossé by 14 percentage points. Tahirah Moore, also backed by the Working Families Party, competed closely with Butler for runner-up.

District 37


Incumbent: Darma Diaz, who is running for reelection


Sandy Nurse: 51.58%

Darma Diaz: 24.04%

Heriberto Mateo: 9.28%

Misba Abdin: 6.23%

Rick Echevarria: 5.33%

Christopher Durosinmi: 3.30%

96.67% of scanners reported.

Incumbent Council Member Darma Diaz appears to have suffered a large defeat to Sandy Nurse. A year ago, Diaz ran unopposed after her allies challenged her opponents’ petitions and got them all removed from the ballot. Unfortunately for Diaz, Sandy Nurse – backed by almost every major union in the city, a host of progressive organizations and local elected officials like Rep. Nydia Velázquez – has a strong lead with more than 50% of first-choice votes.

District 39


Incumbent: Brad Lander, who is term-limited and running for city comptroller


Shahana Hanif: 32.42%

Brandon West: 22.52%

Justin Krebs: 16.03%

Douglas Schneider: 13.60%

Briget Rein: 6.79%

Jessica Simmons: 4.31%

Mamnun Haq: 4.11%

99% of scanners reported.

Shahana Hanif has a decent 10-point lead in the race to replace incumbent Brad Lander. Hanif, a former Lander staffer, had endorsements from progressive groups, including the Working Families Party, state Sen. Jessica Ramos and City Council Member Helen Rosenthal. Brandon West – backed by the Democratic Socialists of America, as well as progressive lawmakers – trailed in second place.

District 40


Incumbent: Mathieu Eugene, who is term-limited


Rita Joseph: 25.23%

Josué Pierre: 20.31%

Kenya Handy-Hilliard: 19.19%

Edwin Raymond: 8.16%

Cecilia Cortez: 7.44%

Blake Morris: 5.07%

Maxi Eugene: 4.95%

Harriet Hines: 3.12%

John Williams: 3.00%

Vivia Morgan: 1.80%

Victor Jordan: 1.51%

99% of scanners reported.

The crowded race to replace the city’s longest-serving council member still remains uncertain. Teacher Rita Joseph currently leads with 25% of first-choice votes. But it’s too close to call, as Kenya Handy-Hilliard and Josué Pierre both trail Joseph by less than 5 percentage points.

District 49

Staten Island

Incumbent: Deborah Rose, who is term-limited


Kamillah Hanks: 25.05%

Amoy Barnes: 21.12%

Ranti Ogunleye: 12.26%

Kelvin Richards: 10.57%

Selina Grey: 8.88%

David Hernandez: 7.10%

Michael Schnall: 6.06%

Troy McGhie: 6.01%

John McBeth Sr.: 2.59%

97.50% of scanners reported.

As the election night came in, nonprofit leader Kamillah Hanks, who ran for this seat in 2017, led with about 25% of the vote. With absentee ballots still to be counted and runner-up Amoy Barnes within 5 percentage points, the race is too close to call.


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