Primary results are in. Councilman Fernando Cabrera won City Council 14th district. The incumbent beat out Democratic challengers Randy Abreu and Felix Perdomo.
According to preliminary numbers furnished by the New York City Board of Elections, the two-term incumbent took 55 percent of the vote. Abreu followed with 35 percent and Perdomo with 10 percent. Fewer than one in nine registered Democrats in the district turned out for the election.
Earlier in the Bronx, all three candidates took to the streets in a final effort to gather last minute votes. Cabrera and his campaign volunteers stood in front of El Valle restaurant near Fordham and Jerome Ave. He introduced himself to everyone who walked by and took photos with a few residents. “The feedback that we’ve received all day long was one of love and appreciation,” said Cabrera. “People were recounting the track record that we have in the district.”
A few blocks north, both Abreu and Perdomo stood on the corner of Reservoir Ave. and 196th St. They shook people’s hands who were headed to vote at P.S. 86 Kingsbridge Heights school. “I left it all out on the field so I feel good,” said Abreu. “We did the best we could, considering all the circumstances and everything we were up against.” Perdomo said he was glad to see so many people turn out to vote. “This community is getting more involved and is finally waking up,” said Perdomo.
Poll officials at P.S. 86 Kingsbridge Heights school said voter turnout was consistent throughout the day. They also said voter turnout had been better than previous primary elections. Getting people to vote is something Bronx Democratic Party chair, Marcos Crespo, said is a constant battle.
“We want to make sure we increase participation and that we get more support from our community,” said Crespo, who also represents the 85th Assembly District of the New York State Assembly. “As a party we want to do less voter registration and more voter education. We want to explain to folks why turnout is so important.”
For people like Henry Grullon, 47, and his mother Ana Grullon, 79, voting is a way to get results on the issues. “I would like more laws when it comes to landlords and tenants,” said Ana, who has lived in University Heights for 30 years. “A lot of times they want to rent out the apartments and are pushing out the elderly.” Both Henry and his mother said Cabrera is the guy for the job. Other voters said it’s time for someone new. “I’m interested to see what Abreu can do,” said
Gerri Martin, 27, voted 15 minutes before polls closed. “In this community, I’d like to see more opportunities for jobs and housing.”
Despite what his opponents have said, Cabrera said his time in office has been successful. “We have unemployment rates going down, murders are down,” stated Cabrera. “Nobody gets off the horse in middle of a river, so we are crossing that river.”
No matter the results, all three candidates said they will continue being present in the community. “I’ve been a pastor for 28 years and I will continue to do that work,” said Cabrera. Perdomo said he will continue to work as a public school teacher and educate his community. Abreu said taking the legal route is his next step. “There are no attorneys who look like us or speak like us,” said Abreu. “I would love to start a law firm here and bring up more young people of color who are lawyers, and start something special in a different way.”