Vickie Paladino wins hotly contested NYC Council race in Queens; many still up for grabs

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Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Incumbent Paladino wins hotly contested NYC Council race in Queens
Latest details on key New York City Council races.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Tuesday was Election Day across the country and in New York City, all 51 City Council seats were up for grabs.

In a heavily Democratic city, most of the outcomes were forgone conclusions -- but there were a handful of races that had the potential to switch parties.

That's exactly what happened with one seat in Queens.

District 19

In Whitestone, Queens, incumbent Councilmember Vickie Paladino defeated her challenger, Democrat Tony Avella, who used to hold the Council seat. During his campaign, Avella called the Republican a white supremacist and alleged that she has ties to the Proud Boys.

"I'm shocked that we have a white supremacist representing us," Avella said Monday. "Clearly she is. Her whole staff has issues with postings with white supremacist groups. Her own son has been a member of the Proud Boys. We have a picture of her with the founder of the Proud Boys smiling and shaking hands."

She spoke out about the accusations as she voted on Tuesday.

"The tactics that this man has's because he has no message, it's a simple as that, he's been a career politician for the last 16 or 18 years and I'm tired of it, I was his constituent," Paladino said.

Two years ago the Trump-supporting Republican beat Avella, but she bested him by only a couple hundred votes.

District 13

In the southeast Bronx, Democratic incumbent Marjorie Velazquez is facing a challenge from Republican Kristy Marmorato.

Voters there tend to lean more moderate, but if a seat were to flip red, this is where it could happen.

Marmorato has strong ties to the borough's Republican Party but both candidates are painting themselves as moderates.

The district is 61% registered Democrats and a Republican hasn't been elected there in more than 20 years.

The race had yet to be called Tuesday night as votes continued to trickle in.

District 47

In South Brooklyn incumbent Justin Brannan is facing off against Republican Ari Kagan, who is also sort of an incumbent.

That's because Kagan switched to the Republican Party in a redistricting shakeup.

District 9

Criminal justice reform activist Yusef Salaam, who was one of five men convicted and later exonerated in the "Central Park Jogger" rape case, ran unopposed, winning a seat for Harlem's District 9.

RELATED | Everything to know about Election Day in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

What you need to know ahead of Election Day on Tuesday.


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