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PRIMARY RESULTS: DA Katz wins in landslide, incumbents cruise to victory and a close race in northeast Queens

Jun. 27, 2023 By Zachary Gewelb

Polls are officially closed on Election Day in Queens and early returns are starting to trickle in for the local primary races.

Voters had the opportunity to cast their ballots on Tuesday, June 27, for Queens district attorney, civil court county judge and city council races.

Among the few contested races in Queens has incumbent Melinda Katz looking to fend off challengers George Grasso, a former judge, and public defender Devian Daniels for district attorney. Katz led by a wide margin as of Wednesday morning, June 28.

“This election was really about results versus rhetoric and the voters spoke loud and clear,” Katz said during her victory speech at Queens Bully Tuesday night. “Today’s victory is an affirmation of my office’s tremendous work to keep Queens safe while implementing key initiatives to fix our criminal justice system and make it fairer.”

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, flanked by Governor Kathy Hochul and Congressman Gregory Meeks, at her election night party at Queens Bully on June 27.Photo by John Schilling

Additionally, the race for northeast Queens’ District 19 City Council Democratic nominee has proven to be a tight one. While Tony Avella is leading the way as of Wednesday morning, Christopher Bae is in a close second, trailing by only 124 votes. Ranked-choice voting will determine the winner, who will then face off against Republican incumbent Vickie Paladino in the Nov. 7 general election.

“The results are in, and we are confident that we will prevail when the ranked-choice voting process is over,” Avella said in a statement Tuesday night. “As we wait for the final results, we will continue our work to ensure Vickie Paladino is defeated this November.”

In western Queens, incumbents Tiffany L. Cabán (District 22), Shekar Krishnan (Distrcit 25) and Julie Won (District 26) are poised to win their primaries, as are fellow incumbents Linda Lee (District 23), Lynn Schulman (District 29) and Jennifer Gutierrez (District 34).

Voter turnout was low throughout the day, as several polling sites across Queens were seen empty, or with few voters inside.

Primary election

Empty voting booths at P.S. 169 on Tuesday, June 27.Photo by Ethan Marshall

While a lack of awareness of the primary election may have contributed to low voter turnout, Karl Lanfrit, a voter at Bayside High School, opined that some simply chose not to come out and vote.

“In my personal opinion, there are people who don’t think this election is that important,” Lanfrit told QNS. “It’s just as important as any other election.”

Elsewhere in the borough, the gymnasium at P.S. 115 — located at 80-51 261 St. — saw few voters throughout the day.

Cara Sieden, an information clerk at the polling site, said she cast her ballot at P.S. 115, and her family did so during the early voting period.

In response to the low voter turnout, Sieden said voters “can’t complain if they did not vote about what’s going on.”

Despite the low turnout, the city’s Board of Elections (BOE) reported that Queens had seen the highest total of votes cast as of 6 p.m. on June 27, with a total of 47,216, which includes early voting numbers. The next closest borough was Brooklyn, which had 43,712 votes tallied as of 6 p.m., followed by Manhattan (34,341 votes) and the Bronx (24,215 votes).

Results released Tuesday night will not be official until they are certified by the BOE.

Who’s on the ballot?

Queens District Attorney

George A. Grasso (D)

Devian S. Daniels (D)

Melinda Katz (D)

Katz is leading with nearly 71% of the vote, with 97% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning.

City Council District 19

Paul D. Graziano (D)

Christopher S. Bae (D)

Tony Avella (D)

Avella is leading with 39% of the vote, with nearly 99% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning. Bae is close behind with nearly 37% of the vote. Only 124 votes separates the two candidates.

City Council District 20

Dany Chen (R)

You-Ching James Pai (R)

Pai is leading with 57% of the vote, with 99% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning.

City Council District 22

Tiffany L. Cabán (D)

Charles A. Castro (D)

Cabán is leading with 86% of the vote, with 95% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning.

City Council District 23

Steve Behar (D)

Rubaiya Rahman (D)

Linda Lee (D)

Lee is leading with 63% of the vote, with 97% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning.

City Council District 25

Ricardo Pacheco (D)

Shekar Krishnan (D)

Fatima Baryab (D)

Krishnan is leading with nearly 64% of the vote, with 96% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning.

City Council District 26

Hallie Kim (D)

Julie Won (D)

Won is leading with 61% of the vote, with 99% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning.

City Council District 29

Sukhi Singh (D)

Ethan Felder (D)

Lynn C. Schulman (D)

Schulman is leading with 54% of the vote, with 99% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning.

City Council District 34

Jennifer Gutierrez (D)

Paperboy Love Prince (D)

Gutierrez is leading with 81% of the vote, with 98% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning.

Queens Civil Court County Judge

Sandra Perez

Marianne Gonzalez

Perez is leading with 67% of the vote, with 97% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning.

Queens Civil Court Judge, 6th District

Steven T. Beard (D)

Evelyn Gong (D)

John Ciafone (D)

Gong is leading with 57% of the vote, with 97% percent of scanners reported as of Wednesday morning.

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