On June 28th, New Yorkers voted in Primary Elections for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the New York State Assembly. As expected, Governor Kathy Hochul sailed to victory in the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, besting New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Rep. Thomas Suozzi with 67.8% of the vote (585,601 votes). Jumaane Williams came in distant second with 165,709 votes (19.2%), and Rep. Suozzi places third with 112,393 votes (13.0%).
Polls that showed a potentially close Republican Gubernatorial Primary proved to be somewhat false. Rep. Lee Zeldin easily won with 195,297 votes (43.9%). Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s son, Andrew Giuliani, placed second place with 101,483 votes (22.8%), while Rob Astorino and Harry Wilson came in third and fourth with 82,907 votes (18.6%) and 65,425 votes (14.7%) respectively.
Expectations that the Democratic Primary for Lieutenant Governor would be a competitive contest between newly appointed incumbent Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado and activist Ana Maria Archila also proved false. Lt. Governor Delgado cruised to a win, with 502,690 votes (61.1%). Ana Maria Archila did place second, but it was a distant second with 203,795 votes (24.8%) and Diana Reyna fell way behind in third with 116,820 votes (14.2%).
The majority of Primary Elections for Assembly seats were uneventful, with a few surprises – including three Assembly incumbents losing to primary challengers. Some of the more notable Assembly Primary contests from Tuesday include:
Democratic Primary for AD 35
Hiram Monserrate, who previously served in the New York State Senate until several scandals led to his expulsion from the State Senate and serving time in prison, has been attempting a political comeback in the last few election cycles. This time around, he challenged longtime incumbent Assemblyman Jeff Aubry of Queens. However, Monserrate failed again after Assemblyman Aubry won with 62% of the vote.
Democratic Primary for AD 37
The Primary for outgoing Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan’s seat, also in Queens, was expected to be highly competitive. However, Progressive candidate Juan Ardila ended the night with a fairly decisive victory, defeating three other challengers, including Johanna Carmona, who was endorsed by Assemblywoman Nolan. Ardila, who was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, gained 3,355 votes (43.6%), 1,336 votes ahead of Brent O’Leary, who placed second.
Democratic Primary for AD 40
Incumbent Assemblyman Ron Kim faced a surprisingly tough challenge from Kenneth Chiu. However, Assemblyman Kim emerged victorious with 1,825 votes (53%) to Chiu’s 1,604 votes (47%).
Democratic Primary for AD 54
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)-backed candidate Samy Nemir Olivares hoped to unseat incumbent Assemblyman Erik Martin Dilan. Dilan’s father, former State Senator Martin Malave Dilan, previously faced a similar challenge from the DSA in 2018, ultimately losing to now-State Senator Julia Salazar. However, the DSA’s hopes for a repeat were unsuccessful, with Assemblyman Dilan narrowly defeating Olivares with 2,334 votes (52%) to 2,154 votes (48%).
Democratic Primary for AD 65
Another one of the closely-watched Primaries was the race for the 65th Assembly District, which is currently represented by Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, who is leaving her seat to run for Congress. At the end of the night, Grace Lee claimed victory with 49% of the vote, fending off DSA-backed candidate Illapa Sairitupac, Denny Salas, and Alana Sivin.
Democratic Primary for AD 73
The Primary for outgoing Assemblyman Dan Quart’s seat was one of the most competitive contests of the night. Alex Bores won with 29% of the vote, narrowly defeating Adam E. Roberts, Russell M. Squire and Kellie Leeson, who finished with 25%, 20% and 20% respectively. The fourth challenger, May Malik, finished in a distant fifth with 6% of the vote. Bores, a District Leader, has said his top priorities include education, reproductive rights, and public safety.
Democratic Primary for AD 75
Tony Simone, a former staffer for Hillary Clinton, former State Senator Catherine Abate, and the NYC Council, won the primary for longtime Assemblyman Richard Gottfried’s seat. Assemblyman Gottfried, who is retiring from the NYS Assembly after 52 years, endorsed Simone, as did Reps. Jerry Nadler and Ritchie Torres, State Senators Brad Hoylman and Robert Jackson, and State Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Linda Rosenthal. Simone has said he is dedicated to carrying on Assemblyman Gottfried’s legacy, including fighting for the passage of the New York Health Act.
Democratic Primary for AD 78
One of the three upsets of the night took place in the Democratic Primary for the 78th Assembly District, where Community Board 1 Member George Alvarez defeated longtime incumbent Assemblyman Jose Rivera by over 750 votes. Alvarez, who was endorsed by Reps. Adriano Espaillat and Ritchie Torres has said his priorities include qualitative education for Bronx children, affordable housing, and safety in the district.
Democratic Primary for AD 92
After serving 11 years in the New York State Assembly, incumbent Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, who chairs the newly created People with Disabilities Committee, lost his primary against Westchester County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky. Shimsky, who was endorsed by the Westchester County Democratic Party, defeated the Assemblyman by 995 votes. During her campaign, Shimsky focused on issues like infrastructure, housing affordability, and the environment.
Democratic Primary for AD 95
Dana Levenberg emerged victorious in the Democratic Primary for the 95th Assembly District, which is being vacated by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, who is retiring after 29 years. Levenberg managed to fend off challenges from candidates Vanessa Agudelo, who was backed by the DSA, and Colin Smith.
Democratic Primary for AD 103
Lastly, in what is perhaps the most shocking race of the night, longtime Assemblyman and Insurance Committee Chairman Kevin Cahill lost his primary against Sarahana Shrestha – the only DSA candidate to win a primary that night. Shrestha, a climate activist, has an extensive platform on her website, which includes passing good cause eviction, passing universal healthcare, banning all new fossil fuels, passing the NY Public Banking Act, advocating for Universal Pre-K, passing the Clean Slate Act, and more.