You are reading

Newcomer Mamdani Beats Incumbent Simotas for Astoria Assembly Seat

Zohran Mamdani (L) and Aravella Simotas (R) (Source: Respective Campaigns)

July 22, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Progressive newcomer and housing counselor Zohran Mamdani has beaten incumbent Aravella Simotas in a close Democratic primary to represent Astoria in the State Assembly.

Simotas — who was first elected in 2010 — conceded to the first-time candidate and Democratic Socialists of America member today.

“I congratulate @ZohranKMamdani for his win and a well-run election,” Simotas tweeted. “I wish you the best as you begin your legislative career and fight for the 36th Assembly District.”

Mamdani led Simotas by 589 in-person votes on the night of the June 23 election. Mamdani took about 54 percent of the vote to Simotas’ 46 percent, according to the unofficial results.

However, an unprecedented number of absentee ballots cast in this year’s primary slowed down the official count.

The Board of Elections tallied absentee votes today, but has yet to release any of the numbers publicly.

Mamdani was at Queens Borough Hall today to check in on the count. He announced that his own campaign’s tally puts him in the lead by more than 300 votes.

“Based on our internal tally, we finished ahead by over 300 votes – more than enough to avoid a recount & ensure our victory,” he tweeted. “Socialism won.”

“I’m honored and humbled by the trust placed in me by the voters of Astoria,” Mamdani said in a statement.

Mamdani’s win is yet another example of the rising success of progressive candidates in Queens, catapulted in 2018 by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Joseph Crowley in the primary for the 14th Congressional District.

Mamdani rallied against the “Queens Machine” Democratic party establishment in his victory statement.

“They had money, but we had people. They had a machine, but we had a movement,” he said. “And that’s why today, we won.”

The Indian-Ugandan New Yorker said his campaign advocated for Muslim and South Asian communities in Astoria and inspired them to register to vote.

“They deserve someone who not only knows the challenges they face, because they come from that community, but someone who’s willing to stand up for them in Albany too.”

email the author: [email protected]

23 Comments

Click for Comments 
William Ulrich

I hope you do more for us than she did let’s see what you do I hope we didn’t make a mistake putting you in office that’s

Reply
Mike

Yes, Astoria is progressing on violent crime, trashy and smelly streets, vulgar behavior, street racing, all-nighter loud music, etc. What else a progressive neighborhood needs?

Reply
Dr jose

The ballots haven’t been all counted yet . Yet candidates are declaring victories

Reply
Astoria Blvd Man

If he’s anti-rich maybe he can do something about the helicopters over Astoria. I live on Astoria Blvd and they are LOUD! There are also too many of them flying to Long Island (the rich). How about taxing the hell out of each trip and giving it to the people affected by the noise???????????

Reply
William

Wow now the Democratic party has been turned into the Socialist party. This changes will make many change party affiliation.

15
1
Reply
Corner stone

This is why I’m leaving Astoria after being raised here since I was 5 years old I am now 42 and seen how horrible this area has become with all the ghetto people out at night and this guy won. Good luck.. there was shooting on 36 and 28 avenue.

15
26
Reply
Jon

I’ve been here the same as you and I’m a little older. I think the area is a lot better. Where else have you lived? The area has some of the top performing schools.

Reply
Scandy

These romantic leftists have no idea about living in socialism. You will lose your everything before even you realize it. As an immigrant I run away from it to have my freedom in this country. So disappointed…

21
2
Reply
Can Socialism create jobs.

Socialism does not create jobs.
Redistribution specialists.

11
1
Reply
Pat Macnamara

let the drive by shootings continue! viva la socialists and dont mess with the Zohran.

12
1
Reply
Anonymous

A bait and switch. He ran as a Democrat in a Democratic Primary but says Socialism won.

11
2
Reply
Craig FU

Do you cash your unemployment checks?

Do you have car insurance?

You’re a socialist.

2
5
Reply
Craig F

Hmm, I have a job and what’s insurance have to do with socialism? The dude never mentioned free everything and socialism until he won. Bait and switch

7
2
Reply
Jon

Insurance balances the risk between high risk and low risk. So high risk people benefit from low risk people.

Reply
wrong

high risk people get put into a high risk pool and pay a lot more…under socialism high risk people pay nothing and create more high risk people…

Barbara Bouie

Congratulations to Mandani!! So happy to see a news face in that seat. He tweeted “socialism won”, and it will continue until this capitalist country is handed over to the movement! #BLM

8
37
Reply
Craig f

If he’s so proud of being a socialist he should have said that on his sidewalk chalks in Astoria. Another misleading person who should actually be furloughed and see how it feels

10
2
Reply
James

Me too. Just put my apartment for sale. The Pandemic and now this crime wave was the final straw.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News