The race to replace Assemblyman Nelson Castro in the Bronx’s 86th Assembly District will likely come down to a recount with newcomer Victor Pichardo and former district leader Hector Ramirez with unofficial tallies showing both candidates hovering at about 22 percent of the vote.
As of last check early Wednesday, Pichardo led by a 53-vote margin. Ramirez’s success was a surprise to many observers who saw the candidate as an also-ran. Pichardo enjoyed the backing of Rep. Chuck Schumer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Sen. Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Carl Heastie. Ramirez mostly had name recognition and community support.
Yudelka Tapia had a much larger presence and campaign structure than Ramirez but managed about 19 percent of the vote. Tapia owes the Campaign Finance Board around $107,000 in fines and repayments.
Sen Gustavo Rivera, a friend, former employer and supporter of Pichardo, said that he was confident Pichardo would be headed to Albany when all the votes are counted.
“I told the crowd tonight that when someone wins an election by 30 percent, individual effort really didn’t matter," Rivera continued. "But when it comes down to race like this where someone wins by 30 votes, individual effort really shows through. It could have been that phone call, the flyer you handed out, that conversation you had with a voter.”