On a primary night when Democratic voters citywide seemed to endorse a message of change from the established order, Brooklynites carried the same tune in three key races—even as they returned most incumbents to office with little drama.
District Attorney Charles Hynes was unseated after 23 years in his post by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Thompson, who prevailed with 55 percent in a race framed by questions about wrongful convictions on the DA’s watch and his handling of sexual abuse allegations involving the Hasidic community.
Former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who gave up his chairmanship of the Brooklyn Democratic party, his committee assignments and ultimately his seat in Albany after revelations about his lewd conduct with female aides, had hoped for a comeback in a race for the City Council seat being vacated by his one-time staffer turned rival, Diana Reyna. But the Bushwick district instead went for Antonio Reynoso, a Reyna assistant, who prevailed with 49 percent of the vote to Lopez’s 37 percent.
In the race for Council in the 38th district covering Sunset Park and parts of Red Hook, challenger Carlos Menchaca accomplished the rare feat of toppling an incumbent, unseating Sara Gonzalez—the only one among 17 sitting Council members facing primary contests who lost.
Elsewhere in Brooklyn, incumbents Steve Levin, David Greenfield, Darlene Mealy, Jumaane Williams and Matthieu Eugene beat back challenges, while their colleagues Vincent Gentile and Brad Lander faced no opposition.
Laurie Cumbo won the primary for the 35th district seat in Fort Greene currently held by public advocate candidate Letitia James.
Robert Cornegy, who failed in a challenge to 36th district Councilman Al Vann in 2009 but this year had the retiring Vann’s endorsement, held a narrow lead over Kirsten Foy; according to unofficial returns posted by NY1, Cornegy led by roughly 94 votes.
In the 37th district, covering Bushwick and parts of East New York and Brownsville, Assemblyman Rafael Espinal won the nomination to succeed Erik Dilan.
Espinal’s Assembly colleague Inez Barron dominated a crowded field in the race for the 42nd district Council seat for East New York—currently held by Barron’s term-limited husband, Charles.
A third Assembly member, Alan Maisel, will be the Democratic nominee for the 46th district (Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Georgetowne, Starrett City, Flatlands, Futurama, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Gerritsen Beach, Madison and Sheepshead Bay) where Lew Fidler is term-limited.
Mark Treyger won the primary in the 47th (now represented by Domenic Recchia, who is facing term limits) district, covering Coney Island, Gravesend, Bensonhurst and Brighton Beach. Chaim Deutsch won a fairly tight race to succeed Michael Nelson in the 48th district, encompassing Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay.
In the lone state office up for primary, Lopez ally Maritza Davila—who failed in a primary challenge to Diana Reyna four years ago—won the nomination to replace Lopez in the 53rd Assembly district.