June 22, 2021 By Ryan Songalia and Christian Murray
Astoria progressive Tiffany Cabán has a big lead in the Democratic primary to represent the 22nd Council District and declared victory last night.
Cabán, who was endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America and a number of high profile elected officials, brought in 49.32 percent of the first choice votes Tuesday, far ahead of her closest challenger.
Evie Hantzopoulos, a Community Board 1 member and executive director of the non-profit Global Kids, had a strong showing accounting for 26.26 percent of first choice votes, followed by John Ciafone, a local attorney, who generated 9.35 percent of first choice votes.
The other candidates in the race Leonardo Bullaro, Catherina Gioino and Nicholas Velkov each brought in well under 10 percent of first choice votes, with 95.45 percent of scanners reported.
The results, which are unofficial, are based on the in-person votes counted from early voting and Election Day, according to the NYC Board of Elections. They do not include absentee and affidavit ballots.
Cabán’s victory is almost certain — and is in sharp contrast to her 2019 campaign for Queens District Attorney, when she held a slim lead on election night against Melinda Katz, only to lose by 55 votes after all the absentee and affidavit ballots were counted.
The only question for Cabán is whether she will reach the 50 percent threshold and be declared the winner without the need for second choice votes to be counted under ranked-choice voting.
“We organized, we fought, and we grew our movement,” Cabán said last night. “We argued that local does not mean small, and we laid out a vision for our neighbors here in District 22 about the transformative changes that are not just possible, but absolutely necessary….Our message was heard. Tonight, our movement won.”
Cabán will still have to face Republican candidate Felicia Kalan and Independent Edwin DeJesus Jr. in the general election on Nov. 2.
The winner of the general election will take office immediately as the seat has been vacant since the Costa Constantinides stepped down in April to become CEO of the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens.
Cabán was heavily favored to win the race. She racked up a who’s who of endorsements, including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, as well as Queens progressives like State Senators Michael Gianaris and Jessica Ramos, as well as Assembly Members Zohran Mamdani and Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas.
Cabán also received Constantinides’ first-choice endorsement.