The big headline after yesterday’s election was the bite Zephyr Teachout took from the left flank of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s primary win. While the governor dominates the agenda in Albany, there were also important developments for livable streets in down ballot races.
Espaillat survives threat from Jackson. In Upper Manhattan, Adriano Espaillat avoided losing his State Senate seat to Robert Jackson by 1,500 votes. Like Espaillat, Jackson is an uptown heavyweight, having represented residents of Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood on the City Council for three terms. Espaillat has found his voice as an Albany livable streets leader as of late, and a clear difference between the candidates was 125th Street Select Bus Service, which Espaillat endorsed as Jackson sided with its critics. The winners in this race could turn out to be New Yorkers who want safer streets and better transit.
IDC survives challenges. After holding off John Liu, we’ll be watching to see if Tony Avella follows through on the policy pledges that got him a StreetsPAC endorsement. It could be huge, for example, if Avella emerges as a strong supporter of bus rapid transit in Queens. (Also worth noting: Both Avella and Espaillat told StreetsPAC they want to end Albany restrictions on when and where NYC can use automated enforcement.) In the Bronx, fellow IDC member and Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein easily bested former City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell. Klein was key to advancing speed camera enforcement in the last two legislative sessions. He’s up against Republican Aleksander Mici in November.
Jo Anne Simon wins primary for open Assembly seat. Simon has an extensive track record fighting for traffic calming and congestion relief in Downtown Brooklyn. She should be great on livable streets issues, even though Pete Sikora got the StreetsPAC nod. Since Sikora is also on the WFP ticket, Simon will face him again in November, along with Republican John Jasilli.
Comrie ousts Smith. It’s sad when a criminally-indicted legislator losing his seat is exceptional, but that’s the state we’re living in. Voters in Queens abandoned Malcolm Smith in droves, propelling Leroy Comrie to the State Senate. As a City Council member, Comrie spearheaded legislation to require NYPD to report to the council and the public on hit-and-run crashes.
In other action Tuesday:
- Voters in Crown Heights chose Jesse Hamilton to succeed Eric Adams in the Senate
- Open Assembly seat winners: Rodneyse Bichotte, Latrice Walker, Guillermo Linares, Latoya Joyner, Charles Barron, Rebecca Seawright (succeeds Micah Kellner), and Erik Dilan
- Senators and Assembly incumbents who will remain in place: Toby Stavisky, Marge Markey, Martin Malave Dilan, Liz Krueger, Felix Ortiz, Marcos Crespo, Gustavo Rivera, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Steven Cymbrowitz, James Sanders, and Denny Farrell
With reporting by Stephen Miller