Member of 'Central Park Five' projected to win closely watched NYC primary race

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Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Member of 'Central Park 5' projected to win NYC primary race
Yusef Salaam a member of the exonerated "Central Park Five," was projected to win one of the most closely watched New York City primary races.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Tuesday was Primary Day in New York City.

All 51 City Council seats were open in redrawn districts. There were also judges and district attorney candidates on the ballot.

Follow all the primary races right here on our election results page.

One of the most closely watched races was a contest featuring a member of the exonerated "Central Park Five," criminal justice reform activist Yusef Salaam.

Salaam along with state Assembly members Inez Dickens and Al Taylor, faced off to replace 9th District City Council member Kristin Richardson Jordan, a first-term incumbent who announced in May she would not seek reelection after narrowly winning the seat in 2021.

On Tuesday night, Salaam who was one of five men convicted and later exonerated in the "Central Park Jogger" rape case, was projected to win the primary to represent the central Harlem district.

Meanwhile, both incumbent Democrat district attorneys, Melinda Katz in Queens and Darcel Clark in the Bronx, were projected to win their primaries.

Clark was seeking a third term, facing a challenge from criminal defense and civil rights attorney Tess Cohen. Katz was seeking a second term as district attorney. The three-way primary also included public defender Devian Daniels and former judge and former deputy police commissioner George Grasso.

As with all New York City Council races this year, this election used a ranked-choice voting system, in which voters may rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes, the lowest vote-getter is dropped, with those votes reallocated to voters' next-highest choices.

For the first time in history, New York City will use ranked choice voting for their upcoming 2021 primary and special elections.

New York City Council terms are normally for four years, but because of a quirk in the New York City charter, the City Council races in 2021 and 2023 year are for two-year terms only. The election to four-year City Council terms will resume in 2025.

As an off-year primary election, turnout was expected to be low.

(Information from the Associated Press)

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