July 16, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Elizabeth Crowley conceded in the Queens borough president race Friday after finishing behind incumbent Borough President Donovan Richards by less than one percentage point.
Crowley announced she was conceding after the Board of Elections (BOE) counted the final absentee and affidavit ballots Thursday.
“With the BOE opening and counting the final ballots yesterday, it has become clear that the numbers are just not there for us to win the democratic nomination,” she said in a statement. “This is not the result we were hoping for, but looking back, I feel incredibly proud of the campaign we ran.”
The former city council member finished behind Richards by 1,044 votes or a .6 percent difference after ranked choice voting was applied, according to the latest tally from the BOE.
“This was a truly historic election, held in the midst of a pandemic and post pandemic recovery,” Crowley said. “Voters knew what was at stake and voted in record numbers with almost 200,000 Queens residents casting a ballot in this race, more than we have seen in generations, and I am proud that we received 49.7% of their votes in the final round.”
Her announcement was the second time she has conceded to Richards. She also finished second-place to him in a primary/special election last year that was held to replace outgoing BP Melinda Katz.
She vastly outspent Richards as well as a Jimmy Van Bramer, who came third in the three-person race.
Crowley spent $1,188,572 on the campaign, compared to Richards’ $557,530 and Van Bramer’s $792,601, according to the latest campaign finance filing on June 11. Van Bramer received 17.5 percent of first-choice votes.
The Queens borough president race was not without drama.
Richards accused Crowley of being racist in a tweet in which he simultaneously declared victory last week. Crowley called the allegations “slanderous and untruthful.”
“Politics is a tough business, and it can bring out the worst in some, but running in this race showed me once again how much we all have in common,” Crowley said in her concession statement. “Although I am conceding this race, I assure you that I am optimistic about the future of Queens, and I will continue to work for a stronger Queens for our families.”
She thanked her campaign staff and volunteers as well as those who donated to her campaign.
“This election was never about me, it was about making sure that we have leadership that would fight for all of Queens,” Crowley said.