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Manhattan District Leader Results
September 15th, 2011

Must still be recovering from the late blogging Tuesday. Thanks to the readers who pointed out the mistakes in this post. The corrected copy is below.

Now that Bob Turner has been officially sworn in as a member of Congress, we can turn to some less heralded races: notably those for district leaders in Manhattan. As we have noted before, these contests often shape up as proxy battles for larger factional fights within a party.

Contests in districts 64 part C and 66 part B featured battles between the longtime party reform organization Lower Manhattan DemocratsDowntown Independent Democrats and the more recently formed Downtown Independent Democrats Lower Manhattan Democrats. In all three contests the newer older club won out, with Paul Newell and Jenifer Rajkumar besting Jeff Galloway and Linda Belfer in the 64th. John Scott defeated incumbent David Reck, one of the founders of Lower Manhattan Democrats, in the 66th by a wide margin.

UpdateNewell notes that the Lower Manhattan Democrats now have no district leaders.

The incumbents held on in district 64 part D in Chinatown where Herbert Kee and Jenny Low fended off Paul Lee and Jin Mei Chen.

Farther uptown, incumbent district leader John Ruiz held off a challenge from community organizer Edward Gibbs, a former convict who has also been a community organizer.

And in another battle reflecting party rifts, also in Harlem, this one in the 70th district part D Jamaal Nelson bested two other candidates, Brian Benjamin and Michael Adams. Benjamin had backing from Manhattan party chief Keith Wright and other area district leaders and State Sen. Bill Perkin was pushing for Adams, one of his aides. But the victor prove to be Nelson, who the Daily News reported recently, had support from former Mayor David Dinkins and some charter school supporters. Nelson also tried to capitalize on being the only one of the three to live in part D.

In other Manhattan contests in district 68 part A Diane Green bested Theresa Richardson and in district 70 part D Marisol Alcantara defeated April Tyler.

By on September 15, 2011, 3:00 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City | 12 Comments »

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12 Responses to “Manhattan District Leader Results”

  1. Sean Sweeney Says:
    September 15th, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    CORRECTION NEEDED:

    You got it reversed.

    The longtime club is Downtown Independent Democrats (DID) ( didnyc.org ).
    The new club is Lower Manhattan Democrats (LMD).

    You got it mixed up. Please correct.

    FYI:
    DID’s candidate in the 66th, John Scott beat LMD’s incumbent, David Reck, 75% to 25%, an incredible margin for an incumbent to lose by. (Reck left DID to form LMD last year)

    DID’s candidates, incumbent Paul Newell and newcomer Jenifer Rajkumar, were even more impressive victors. Newell got 68% of the vote and Rajkumar soundly defeated long-time incumbent Linda Belfer (who joined Reck in forming LMD) by 70% to 30%.

    Notably, Rajkumar, 28, is the first person of South Asian heritage to be elected in Manhattan, and just one of about a dozen in the entire USA.

  2. Paul Newell Says:
    September 15th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    You confused the names and origins of the two clubs downtown. Downtown Independent Democrats (www.DIDNYC.org) – the progressive reform club Democratic club formed in 1971 – won all three contests. The fourth spot (66B Female Leader) also belongs to DID member Jean Grillo.

    The newer group, LMD, now has no District Leaders.

    You also mispelled my name and that of Linda Belfer.

    -Paul Newell
    Male Democratic District Leader
    64th AD, Part C

  3. Gail Robinson Says:
    September 15th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks — and many apologies. I think this is correct now.

  4. Bernard Tarver Says:
    September 16th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Regarding Jamaal Nelson’s victory in the 70th District Leader race, as a resident and voter in that district, Nelson was the only one who actually got out and campaigned. I never heard about or saw either of this opponents. I got their literature in the mail the day of the election. Nelson sent a representative to my home, then stopped by himself a few days later, heard some of my concerns about the community, followed up with a personally handwritten letter and a phone call, talking about things he was already doing to address those concerns. That showed me he was sincere about making a difference and not just a guy looking for a title and an insider position with the party.

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