It was mostly a predictable day at the polls yesterday when it came to Southern Brooklyn races, including the reelection of two lawmakers currently facing federal charges.
The most high-profile race, of course, was that of the 11th Congressional District, in which incumbent Michael Grimm, who faces a 20-count indictment for tax evasion, staved off a challenge from Democrat Domenic Recchia.
Grimm came ahead with a 13-point lead, according to preliminary results provided by the Associated Press. He won 56,221 of the district’s Brooklyn and Staten Island votes, or 55.4 percent, to Recchia’s 42,786 votes, or 42.1 percent. A Green party candidate, Henry Bardel, picked up 2.5 percent.
Though the win itself was predictable – Recchia’s campaign gaffes became a national joke, and Siena polling showed Grimm with a 19-point lead in the days before the race – the margin is a significant victory for Grimm. In 2012, before the incumbent made headlines for the criminal charges, threatening to throw a reporter off a balcony, or having a romp in a bar bathroom, he had just shy of a six-point victory over then challenger Mark Murphy (the race was 52.6 to 46.4).
It appears the bad headlines has made Grimm even more popular among voters, or Recchia was just that much more unlikable than Murphy.
Once the dust has settled, we’ll take a look at how the vote broke down geographically to see just how much Brooklyn factored into Grimm’s reelection.
But Grimm was not the only Southern Brooklyn pol facing federal indictment to win re-election. After besting several challengers in the Democratic primary, State Senator John Sampson, who represents parts of Sheepshead Bay, Mill Basin and Canarsie, took in 86.1 percent of the vote in last night’s general election.
Sampson is facing embezzlement charges, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of foreclosed homes. Just days before the election, the pol’s legal team practically admitted to the swindle in a pre-trial hearing, but argued that it occurred outside the statute of limitations. It apparently did not hurt his electoral prospects, as he took home more than 10 times the number of votes as the second place contender, Republican Elias J. Weir.
If there were any surprises in local races on election night, it might be the showing of Republican Stamatis Lilikakis, who challenged Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny. The district, which spans Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Dyker Heights and a sliver of waterfront connecting those neighborhoods, churned out a nail-biter as returns came in from poll sites. For the first half of the count, Brook-Krasny hovered between 50 and 51 percent. But as the night wore on, he took a dramatic lead, with 58.3 percent of the vote to Lilikakis’ 41.7.
This is another race we’ll be checking the geographic breakdown of, as it’ll be interesting to see which parts of the neighborhood snubbed Brook-Krasny.
Here’s how the rest of the races in Southern Brooklyn shook out:
- Congressman Hakeem Jeffries took home 91.9 percent of the vote, to Republican Alan Bellone’s 8.1 percent. Bellone did not actively campaign.
- Yvette Clarke took home 89.5 percent to Republican Daniel Cavanagh’s 10.5 percent. Cavanagh did not actively campaign.
- Jerrold Nadler won 87.6 percent of the vote to Conservative Ross Brady’s 11.9 percent.
- Senator Martin Golden had a strong showing against Democratic challenger James Kemmerer, with 69-to-31 percent of the vote. That’s significant growth compared to results in 2012, when Democrat Andrew Gounardes pulled in 41.9 percent to Golden’s 58.1 percent.
- Senator Diane Savino did not have a challenger.
- Senator Simcha Felder did not have a challenger.
- Sheepshead Bay’s Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein took in 87.3 percent of the vote to Conservative challenger Sura Yusim’s 12.7 percent.
- Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz bested his challenger, Ben Akselrod, with 54.4 percent of the vote to Akselrod’s 42.3 percent. This is the fourth race in a row that he’s defeated Akselrod, after winnin in both the 2012 primary and general (Akselrod ran as a Democrat, then as a Conservative) and this year’s primary and general (he ran as a Democrat, then as a Republican).
- Bensonhurst Assemblyman Bill Colton beat Republican challenger Joseph Baranello 71 to 29 percent.
- Borough Park and Midwood Assemblyman Dov Hikind defeated Republican Nachman Caller 78.4 to 21.6.
- Assemblyman Peter Abbate, representing Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst, received 76.2 percent of the vote to Republican Henry Lallave’s 23.8 percent.
- The 59th Assembly District, representing Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park and Mill Basin, and vacant since Alan Maisel resigned to take a seat in the City Council, was secured by Democrat Roxanne Persaud, who bested Republican Jeffrey Ferretti 73.8 to 26.2.
For all results from last night’s general election, check out WNYC for AP results.