Bottcher, Cabán Leading on Election Night as LGBTQ Candidates Compete Across the City

Erik Bottcher at his election night party at The Chelsea Bell at 316 Eighth Avenue.
Donna Aceto

[Editor’s Note: This story reflects the latest numbers as of 11:30 a.m. on June 23.]

Some LGBTQ candidates appear to be in strong position, others are trailing, and several races appear to be neck-and-neck — but many of the competitions could remain in limbo for weeks.

The large slate of LGBTQ candidates running for office up and down the ballot in Democratic primary races stepped to the plate on June 22 for a pivotal election night that featured major citywide competitions as well as local City Council matchups and judicial contests. The election marked a major opportunity for queer political candidates to maintain or grow the City Council’s LGBT Caucus at a time when all four remaining out LGBTQ city lawmakers are exiting office in less than a year. One city lawmaker elected in the last cycle, Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, left the City Council when he was elected to Congress last year.

The ranked-choice voting process will take time and absentee ballots still must be counted, leaving many competitions unsettled for now — and results will not be finalized until July 12.

In the citywide race for comptroller, Council Speaker Corey Johnson is trailing Brooklyn Councilmember Brad Lander, 31 to 23 percent. If elected, Johnson would be the first out LGBTQ person elected to citywide office in New York City.

Neither of the two out candidates in races for borough president — Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman and Queens Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer — are winning their races. Hoylman trails Manhattan Councilmember Mark Levine by less than three points in the race for Manhattan beep, while Van Bramer is registering 18 percent — far behind incumbent Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and former Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, who are virtually tied with 40 percent of the vote.

More than a dozen LGBTQ council candidates also squared off in races across the city. Two candidates — Erik Bottcher in Manhattan’s District 3 and Tiffany Cabán in Queens’ District 22 — jumped out to significant leads in their races, and Cabán claimed victory. Cabán, looking to overcome her narrow loss to Melinda Katz in the race for Queens DA, has 49.70 percent of the vote, followed by Evie Hantzopoulos, who sits at 25.69 percent. If she wins, Cabán would be the first out LGBTQ woman elected to the City Council from Queens.

Bottcher, Johnson’s former chief of staff, currently has 47.79 percent of the vote in his bid to succeed his old boss, while another LGBTQ candidate, Phelan Dante Fitzpatrick, has just over five percent in the same race. Arthur Schwartz and Leslie Boghosian Murphy have grabbed approximately 15 and 14 percent of the vote, respectively.

In one of the city’s most significant races, Crystal Hudson — who would be the first out LGBTQ Black woman elected to the City Council — holds a four-point advantage over her top rival, Michael Hollingsworth, in Brooklyn’s District 35.

Chi Ossé, a 22-year-old out queer candidate running in Brooklyn’s 36th District, holds a five-point edge with 94 percent of scanners reporting. He has 37 percent, followed by Henry L. Butler and Tahirah A. Moore, who both have about 23 percent.

Meanwhile, two LGBTQ candidates running in Manhattan’s District 5, Chris Sosa and Billy Freeland, are behind frontrunner Julie Menin, who has about 34 percent, and Tricia M. Shimamura, who sits at approximately 24 percent. Freeland has 10 percent and Sosa has six percent.

One district over, out gay Japanese-American candidate Jeffrey Omura is behind Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who is looking to return to the City Council in District 6. Brewer has roughly 54 percent, while Omura has 10 percent.

In Manhattan’s District 9, Kristin Richardson Jordan — who, like Hudson, would be the first out LGBTQ Black woman in the City Council — is in a tight race with incumbent Councilmember Bill Perkins. Jordan has 19.33 percent, while Perkins has 20.60 percent.

Marti Allen-Cummings, vying to be the first out non-binary councilmember, is behind in Manhattan’s District 7, where Shaun Abreu is leading the way with 27 percent, followed by Allen-Cummings, with nearly 12 percent.

Back in Queens, Amit Bagga — aiming to be the first out LGBTQ South Asian city lawmaker — has 17.65 percent, while Julie Won has 18.47 percent in a close race to succeed Van Bramer in District 26.

Another out LGBTQ candidate running to succeed a member of the LGBT Caucus is Alfonso Quiroz, who is seeking to take over for Daniel Dromm in Queens’ District 25. At the moment, Quiroz is in fourth place with just over 10 percent. Shekar Krishnan is leading the way with 30.80 percent, followed by Yi Andy Chen, who has 17.58 percent, and Carolyn Tran, who has 17.70 percent.

Lynn Schuman, running for City Council for a third time, is clinging to a 1.7 percent lead over Aleda F. Gagarin — another LGBTQ candidate — in Queens’ District 29. Like Cabán, Schulman and Gagarin would be the first out LGBTQ woman elected to the City Council from Queens.

In Brooklyn, out gay District Leader Josue Pierre is in third place in District 40 with 20 percent. Rita C. Joseph is currently leading that race with 25 percent. Kenya Handy-Hilliard has 19 percent of the vote in that race.

The race for out gay Councilmember Carlos Menchaca’s district in Brooklyn includes an out candidate, Jacqui Painter, though she is far behind frontrunner Alexa Aviles, who has 43 percent. Painter has just under 11 percent of the vote.

Out candidate Wilfredo Florentino, a military veteran running in Brooklyn’s 42nd District, is behind in a competition featuring Assemblymember Charles Barron, who previously spent more than a decade in the City Council. Barron has nearly 47 percent, while Nikki Lucas has about 37 percent and Florentino has 10 percent.

Michael Goldman, a candidate for Civil Court in Queens, is also in a very competitive race as he looks to become the first out gay judge elected in Queens. Goldman is trailing Soma S. Syed by just two percent.

Non-binary mayoral candidate Paperboy Love Prince, who was not considered a serious candidate, has tallied 3,316 first place votes, or 0.43 percent.

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