The prelude to the main event in 2021 was a quintet of special elections to replace councilmembers who have departed.

Jeff Reed, Wiliam Alatriste/NYC Council

Departed Councilmembers whose seats feature in special elections over the next four months, clockwise from top left: Andrew Cohen, Ritchie Torres, Donovan Richards, Andrew King and Rory Lancman.

Updated April 19

One is now a judge, another a Congressman. One’s the borough president of Queens, another works for the Cuomo administration. One was expelled.

Those are the moves that required New York City to schedule five special elections between the 2020 general election and the 2021 primary in June, when all municipal offices (mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president and City Council) could potentially be on the ballot.

Note that special elections are nonpartisan affairs, where no one can call themselves a Democrat or Republican, so candidates adopt self-created party names.

Note also that the winners of these special elections, who are sworn in as soon as the results are certified, are only elected to serve out the remainder of the current term.

The primary in June and general election in November will determine who serves during the next full term, beginning January 1, 2022. That will be a two-year term because of redistricting after the 2020 Census.

People elected in this round of special elections who also win in November would be able to serve through 2029 before term limits forced them out of office.

Beginning with the February 2 race, all special elections and primary elections in New York City were subject to ranked-choice voting.

Here’s the latest on this season of special elections:

District 11

Covers: The Bronx neighborhoods of Bedford Park, Kingsbridge, Riverdale, Norwood, Van Cortlandt Village, Wakefield and Woodlawn. [Map]

Incumbent: Andrew Cohen, who was elected on Nov. 3 to a judgeship.

Timing: March 23, 2021

Candidates on the ballot:

Eric Dinowitz (Your Bronx Voice)
Jessica Haller (New Leadership)
Mino Lora (Justice for All)
Carlton Berkley (The People’s)
Kevin Pazmino (Patriot)
Dan Padernacht (Community First)

Outcome: Dinowitz won

Our coverage:
Huge Fields Contest Two Special Elections in the Bronx

Differences Emerge Among Candidates in Bronx Special Election

Dinowitz and Feliz Appear to Prevail in Bronx Council Races


District 12
Covers: The Bronx neighborhoods of Eastchester, Baychester, Co-op City and Williamsbridge. [Map]

Incumbent: Vacant. Andrew King was expelled from the Council in October.

Timing: Dec. 22, 2020

Candidates on the ballot:

Kevin Riley (Justice & Unity)
Pamela Hamilton-Johnson (Social Change)
Neville Mitchell (Bronx 12 Matters)

Outcome: Riley won.

Our coverage:

Riley Ahead in NYC Council Special Election, the First of Five On Tap

After Pattern of Problems in Bronx District, a Special Election During a Pandemic Winter


District 15

Covers: The Bronx neighborhoods of Bedford Park, Fordham, Mount Hope, Bathgate, Belmont, East Tremont, West Farms, Van Nest, Allerton and Olinville. [Map]

Incumbent: Ritchie Torres, who was elected to Congress on Nov. 3.

Timing: March 23, 2021

Candidates on the ballot:

John Sanchez (Community First)
Oswald Feliz (People United)
Elisa Crespo (Jobs & Justice)
Kenny Agosto (Empower People)
Ischia Bravo (We Matter)
Ariel Rivera-Diaz (Second Choice)
Bernadette Ferrara (Fifteen Forward)
Latchmi Devi Gopal (Go For The Bronx)
Jose Padilla Jr. (Safe & Stable)
Altagracia Soldevilla (People First)

Outcome: Feliz won

Our coverage:
Huge Fields Contest Two Special Elections in the Bronx

Dinowitz and Feliz Appear to Prevail in Bronx Council Races


District 24 

Covers: The Queens neighborhoods of Kew Gardens Hills, Briarwood, Utopia and Pomonok. [Map]

Incumbent: Vacant. Rory Lancman resigned in early November to join the Cuomo administration.

Timing: Feb. 2, 2021

Candidates on the ballot:

Moumita Ahmed (Mo For The People)
Michael Earl Brown (United Citizens)
James Gennaro (Queens Strong)
Neeta Jain (Community First)
Dilip Nath (Your Voice Matters)
Mujib U. Rahman (Unity)
Deepti Sharma (A Better Queens)
Soma Syed (Soma for Queens)

Check out the official Campaign Finance Board voters’ guide for this race.

Outcome: Gennaro won.

Our coverage:

Old Guard Has Strong Lead in Special Election for Queens District 24


District 31

Covers: The Queens neighborhoods of Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens [Map]

Incumbent: Donovan Richards, who was elected Queens borough president on Nov. 3.

Timing: Feb. 23, 2021

Candidates on the ballot:

Selvena Brooks-Powers (Powers 4 Queens)
Manuel Silva (People Powered)
Pesach Osina (Community Unity)
Nancy Martinez (Rockaway United)
Shawn Rux (Rux For Us)
Latanya Collins (Collins 4 Queens)
Rev. Sherwyn James (Time for Change)
Latoya Benjamin (The Time Is Now)
Nicole Lee (Lee For Jobs 31)

Check out the official Campaign Finance Board voters’ guide for this race.

Outcome: Brooks-Powers and Osina were in a close race after the first round of counting.

Our coverage:

Ranked-Choice Voting Kicks in After Queens Special Election



If you have additional information about any of these candidates, please contact City Limits.

One thought on “Your 2020-2021 Special Elections Tracker

  1. Districy 49 replacing term-limited out Debi Rose
    Dem Candidates are crowded:

    Democratic Philippe-Edner Apostol-Marius
    Democratic Amoy Barnes
    Democratic Selina Grey
    Democratic Kamillah Hanks
    Democratic John McBeth
    Democratic Troy McGhie
    Democratic Morounranti Ogunleye
    Democratic Kelvin Richards
    Democratic Michael Schnall
    Republican Nicholas Robbins

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