“The Manhattan Democratic Party is proud to support the selection by the 30th Senate District Committee of Cordell Cleare as their Democratic Nominee for the New York State Senate,” the party said in a Saturday evening release.
On Saturday, Members of the Manhattan Democratic Party selected Cordell Cleare—who served as chief of staff to outgoing Councilmember Bill Perkins for close to two decades—as the Democratic nominee in the upcoming Nov. 2 special election to replace Brian Benjamin in the state Senate.
Senate District 30 spans Upper Manhattan neighborhoods including Harlem, East Harlem, and the Upper West Side. Benjamin was elected to the seat in a special election in 2017, serving nearly one full term before he was selected last month to be new Gov. Kathy Hochul’s second-in-command as lieutenant governor.
The special election for the now-vacant seat, which drew interest from area electeds including Assemblymembers Inez Dickens and Al Taylor, who represent adjoining parts of the district, will coincide with New York’s November general election, where city residents will vote for their next mayor, comptroller, borough presidents and City Council members.
Although candidates can still run in the 30th Senate District race as independents, the Democratic nominee in this special election was chosen via the party’s competitive county committee process, and not a primary. Instead, hundreds of the group’s members vote for a nominee.
“The Manhattan Democratic Party is proud to support the selection by the 30th Senate District Committee of Cordell Cleare as their Democratic Nominee for the New York State Senate,” the party said in a Saturday evening release, adding that Cleare won with 57.4 of ballots after three rounds of voting against Athena Moore, who earned 42.6 percent of votes.
Both Cleare and Moore were one of more than a dozen candidates, including Perkins, to run in the June primary for City Council District 9. Cleare was eliminated in round 12 of ranked-choice voting; Moore in 13. Cleare also ran for the Council seat in 2017, later losing to Perkins.
Cleare, of Harlem, could not immediately be reached for comment. If she wins the November race—likely, given the heavy Democratic enrollment in the Senate District—she will have to run again next year to keep the seat.