Of the three primaries in which current Manhattan Council members faced challengers, the 9th Council District race is the only one in which the incumbent appears to have been defeated.
After 13 rounds of vote counting in Manhattan’s 9th Council District race, political newcomer Kristin Richardson Jordan has apparently triumphed over incumbent Bill Perkins, according to an unofficial vote count published Tuesday by the city Board of Elections.
The race is one of a few in the city in which the winner of the most first-place votes in the contest on primary election night—Perkins, in this case—could end up losing.
Election night results showed Perkins had a fragile lead of fewer than 300 votes over Jordan, a poet and artist. Things shifted on Tuesday, when new preliminary results that included absentee ballots showed Jordan had 8,929 votes to Perkins’ 8,829—a difference of exactly 100 ballots.
Though less than one percentage point now separates the two candidates, Perkins is not trailing Jordan close enough to prompt an automatic recount, which is triggered when the leading two candidates are within fewer than 0.5 percentage points of one another.
“We’re definitely claiming the victory,” Jordan, 34, told City Limits on Wednesday. “I’m claiming it.”
The incumbent Perkins, who previously served in both the Council and in the New York State Senate, ran an anemic reelection campaign, City & State reported last month: While he’d filed the requisite paperwork to run, he didn’t have a campaign website or participate in any of the panels and forums most of his 12 challengers in the race did.
“I think the campaigns couldn’t have been more different,” said Jordan, a democratic socialist who is running on a “disrupt the district” platform, which backs defunding the police and disbanding the MTA’s police unit, cancelling unpaid rent, and redistributing wealth though increased taxes on the highest-earning New Yorkers.
“We did a lot of service and mutual aid,” she added of her campaign. “We did food giveaways, park clean-ups, community clean-ups, we did clothing drives.”
As of Wednesday, Perkins had not officially conceded, and City Limits could not immediately reach him for comment on the unofficial results.
Of the three primaries in which current Manhattan Council members faced challengers, the Harlem race is the only one in which the incumbent appears to have been defeated. Carlina Rivera, the Lower Manhattan Council member who is vying for the speaker role, and Diana Ayala, who represents East Harlem and the South Bronx, have commanding leads of more than 50 percent of votes in their contests. Rivera faced one challenger; Ayala faced three.
The BOE, which published preliminary results from June’s primary races earlier this week, is expected to certify the tabulations by July 14.