Primary 2012: What The Numbers Reveal

The time has come, the blogger said, to speak of many things.

Specifically, the Board of Elections has posted the election returns from September’s primary. And while the returns, as per usual, do not include Election District by Election District breakdowns, they do, as per usual, include breakdowns by Assembly District within the affected races, allowing us some opportunity to get a clearer picture of what occurred.

Which is not much.

But there are a few nuggets to be gleaned, and the biggest of them (how the results even further reveal that the toy balloon known as Dov Hikind consists largely of hot air) will be the subject of a separate piece covering the four relevant races (The Dem primaries in Brooklyn’s 48th Assembly District, 17th Senate District and 5th Municipal Court District, as well as the Conservative primary in the 17th SD).

This then is the clean-up piece to sop up what little gravy remains. All races are Democratic primaries unless otherwise indicated.

10th SD Queens: James Sanders’ 55.96% to 39.40% victory over Shirley Huntley looks even starker when one gazes upon its near unanimity. Only in Huntley’s home 32nd AD did she manage to score a victory.

15th SD Queens Republican & Independence:  There were a few silver linings for Juan Reyes in his 69.56% 60 30.26% mauling by Councilman Eric Ulrich.

Reyes did manage to beat Ulrich in four out of the district’s ten ADs. However, this is perhaps mitigated by the fact that the combined vote for three of those ADs was 24.  

However, the fourth of those ADs is the 28th, home base of Ulrich’s allies the Haggerty family, who are the arch enemies of Reyes-supporting County Leader Phil Ragusa.  

Yet, in the home base of Ulrich’s biggest supporters, Reyes won, 52.40% to 47.23%.

Ulrich also comfortably won his Independence Party primary against Joseph Tiraco, 82.35% to 17.65%, though in the same exact turf, Tiraco won the race for his Party’s State Committee, with 69.33% of the vote.  

16th SD Queens: Heavily outspent in an area with much new turf, Toby Stavisky’s 57.95% to 41.80% victory over John Messer was substantial, but will not necessarily discourage future challenges, especially given the seat’s Asian majority demographics, which the white Messer attempted to exploit by means of his Asian wife (which may have cost him as many Asian votes as it got him).

In the mostly Jewish 27 and 28th ADs, Stavisky crushed Messer 72.26% to 27.43%, despite some Messer effort to exploit Stavisky stance in favor of same sex marriage among Orthodox Jewish voters.

In the three ADs (34, 35 & 39) where the population was mostly Latino, Stavisky edged out Messer 50.97% to 48.31%.

By contrast, in the majority Korean and Chinese 40th AD, Messer edged out Stavisky, 51.96% to 47.94%.

18th SD Brooklyn: Along with the still unsettled Restler/Olechowski race for District Leader in AD 50th, this race was supposed to measure the supposed collateral damage from allying with Vito Lopez, but in the end, it mostly measured the independent strength of incumbent State Senator Marty Dilan who bested challenger Jason Otano 66.96% to 32.59%.

Take the 50th AD. This area’s portion of the 50th consisted mostly of parts of the Northside, Greenpoint and Italian Williamsburg where Lincoln Restler rampaged in his primary.

There were also some mixed Hasidic/Latino/Hipster EDs on the Southside, some mixed Hasidic/Latino/Black EDs in North Bed-Stuy and a few mixed Hasidic/Latino housing developments in the Hasidic area of Williamsburg. There were enough Latinos in these EDs that they were included in Dilan’s district for Voting Rights Act purposes. In the District Leader’s primary, these were not good areas for Restler, but between his Aroni Satmar vote and the non-Hasidic vote he was not crushed in these areas.

All told, Restler had won the Dilan portion of the 50th AD, yet Dilan beat Otano here by an impressive 57.55% to 42.00%.  

As might be expected, Dilan won Lopez’s 53rd AD 66.18% to 33.30%.

But what Lopez was able to deliver to Dilan pales compared to what Dilan was able to deliver to himself. In Dilan’s home 54th AD, he beat Otano by an astonishing 77.57% to 22.47%.

Mind you, Dilan strength’s in the 54th is to a large measure personal. His candidate there for Female Member of the Democratic State Committee, Paula Melendez, won her election against Darma Diaz by only 1578 (50.79%) to 1520 (48.92%).

Otano scored his only victory (52.49% to 45.95%) in the district’s portion of the 56th AD, which largely consists of a few housing projects which are mixed Latino and Black. There is probably a specific local explanation for this victory, but I am not privy to it.

All told, it appears that Martin Malave-Dilan is not only master of his domain, but is now a master who has been newly liberated.

31st SD Manhattan: In my immediate post-primary wrap, I said: Adriano Espaillat, with new Assemblywoman in toe, is the new and probably undisputed King of Little Santo Domingo.

The total vote in his 61.29% to 38.2% victory over Assemblyman Guillermo Linares bear this out, but the vote when broken down bears it out even more.

In the district’s three white majority ADs (67,69 &75), Linares beat Espaillat 59.33% to 40.28%. This is further proof of my previously articulated observation about Espaillat’s lack of appeal to most white voters.  

In the 70th AD portion of the district, where Latinos outnumber blacks, but do not overwhelm them, Espaillat scored by a better than expected 60.67% to 38.31%.

In the 71st AD, which is Dominican majority, but contain strong pockets of black and whites (among whom Espaillat has some prior history of strength), Espaillat won 64.60% to 34.44%.

And in the heavily Dominican 72nd  AD, Espaillat won by an astounding 72.00% to 27.59%.

I say astounding because Linares is also Dominican and an elected official of longstanding who served in the City Council (he had to beat Espaillat to get there) and is the 72nd’s incumbent Assemblyman.

Manhattan Surrogate: While Rita Mella’s victory over Barbara Jaffe was especially impressive wherever there was any Latino vote, especially Dominicans, she won every AD, except the Upper East Side’s severely rich white 73rd and 76th ADs.

The near universal nature of the Mella victory is perhaps even more impressive than her 58.87% to 40.56% victory in actual votes cast.

1st Municipal Court Brooklyn: The Brownstone Brooklyn Political establishment, assembled in war footing on behalf of lawyer Richard Montelione, eked out a 51.75% to 47.92% victory against lawyer Lara Genovesi, a candidate they’d portrayed as the embodiment of pure evil and corruption.

Breaking it down, we find Montelione carried the district’s small 50th AD portion by only two votes (49.79% to 48.93%) despite the considerable advantage of Lincoln Restler’s support in an area which was part of his home base.

In the 51st, what should have been Lara Genovesi’s advantage in the Red Hook projects, where campaign manger Joni Yoswein had once successfully organized the community on behalf of IKEA, was overcome by the fact there were no local races on the ballot to bring those votes out, allowing their votes to be overcome by Yuppies, a considerable number of whom were, pre-reapportionment, represented by Montelione supporting Assemblywoman Joan Millman. The numbers were tiny, but Montelione won 56.36% to 43.64%.

By contrast, project voters did come out when there was something to come out for.

In Fort Green’s 57th   AD, where there was a hot local Assembly race, turnout was strong and Genovesi won 54.09% to 45.56%, despite the fact that Montelione comes from Clinton Hill (just outside the Court District’ borders) and has been involved in the greater Fort Greene community, which contains a significant gay demographic which should have insured to his advantage.

What does this prove? That having Hakeem Jeffries on one’s palm cards trumps having Tish James and Velmanette Montgomery?


Mostly, it means that having the best street operation in an area where there is a hot local race means something.

Lara Genovesi was backed by Walter Mosely, who was winning the Assembly seat with over 60% of the vote and had him some coattails, despite Montelione’s other considerable local advantages.

But most of the Court District is in the 52nd AD, and Montelione won there 54.28% to 45.41%.

It should be noted that this was hardly impressive in an area where his running mate for Democratic State Committee winning by about 76% to 24%, but it was enough.

Anecdotal evidence indicates Montelione mostly piled up his 52nd AD margin in Park Slope and owes his victory there more to Lambda and CBID,  than to the coastal based IND, which did not do nearly as well in their turf, thanks in part to desertions which included Karen Johnson, an important operative in that area.

2nd Municipal Court District Bronx: Black candidate Eddie McShann’s victory against Latino candidate Juana Valentin, in a district where Latinos surely outnumber blacks, is not noteworthy because McShann won the ADs represented by blacks 65.50% to 33.67%.

It may however be of note that McShann won the one AD represented by a white 71.03% to 28.17%.

But even more notable may be the fact that McShann won the four ADs represented by Latinos by 53.74% to 45.93%.

Proving that in the Bronx, you do not want to be exposed as the candidate who lives in the suburbs.

Other News:  As I’ve previously noted, the Board of Elections has certified Ben Akselrod as the Independence nominee for Assembly in AD 45, with 16 votes to Russ Gallo's 13 and Steve Cymbrowitz's 5 (two votes scattered). There is more to say about that one, but I will have to save it until after litigation concludes.  

Unreported, except probably in the Advance, where it counts, is 61st AD Assembly incumbent Matt Titone’s Independence Party victory against his Republican opponent, Paul Sarayian, 58.82% to 41.18%.

In a primary in doubt on election night, incumbent Female District Leader Martha Flores-Vazquez held on in Flushing’s 40th AD, Part B, 50.88% to 48.69%, despite the fact that Flores-Vazquez took only 12.58% in her simultaneous race for the Assembly (Similarly, Rodneyse Bichotte took 32.39% in her race for Assembly in Brooklyn’s 42nd AD, while holding her seat on the Democratic State Committee from the same turf with an astonishing 65.87% of the vote.)     

Finally, in perhaps the stoopdiest contest in this year’s primary not involving Mark Escoffery-Bey (who lost his Bronx District Leadership), we have the Working Families Party primary for State Committee in the 45th AD, where the three largest ethnic groups are Russian Jews, Ashkenazi Orthodox Jews and Sephardic Orthodox Jews.

In this nail-biter, Paul Vasquez beat Christopher Torres two votes to zero. 

Further research reveals Torres lives in 56 AD and couldn't vote for himself.

But couldn't he have contacted whoever signed his petition?

Anyone know the story behind this one?

Does anyone care?

Is either of these guys Dorothy Siegel’s gardener?