Few surprise early results in Manhattan races on Election Night

A line of voters waiting to get inside St. Anthony of Padua Church in SoHo on Election Day morning, Nov. 3.
Photo by Tequila Minsky

While the outcome of the 2020 presidential election remained much in doubt on Wednesday morning, there’s far little drama concerning the down-ballot races focused on Manhattan. 

To little surprise, the Democratic presidential ticket of former Vice President Joe Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris dominated Manhattan, taking every Assembly district, according to the New York City Board of Elections preliminary totals. Just over 84.2% of Manhattan voters opted for Biden/Harris over the incumbent Republican ticket of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Further down the ballot, the incumbent Democratic legislators either faced little challenge from their Republican rivals — or no challenge at all. That included Upper East Side/Roosevelt Island Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, who appears poised for re-election despite not being able to run on the Democratic line this year.

Seawright, of the 76th Assembly District, ran on the Rise and Unite ballot line after being knocked off the June 23 Democratic primary ballot due to a filing snafu. That left the Democratic Party line vacant in Tuesday’s general election.

Nonetheless, Seawright’s third-party gambit proved effective on Election Day, as she holds a big lead over Republican/Liberal candidate Louis Puliafito, a union steward and doorman from the Upper East Side. With 99% of the scanners reported, Seawright has a nearly 3,000 vote lead on Puliafito, with the incumbent gaining 16,151 votes (54.8%) over her challenger’s 13,163 votes (44.7%).

Again, the scanner results — provided by the Board of Elections — are preliminary in nature. Tens of thousands of Manhattan residents voted by absentee ballot this election cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It may take up to two weeks before those ballots are counted, so the numbers in Seawright’s race and other contests could fluctuate by then.

As for the other contests, voters seemed to have returned all four members of Manhattan’s Congressional delegation to Capitol Hill in overwhelming fashion.

They include Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez of the 7th District (Chinatown and the Lower East Side, along with parts of Brooklyn and Queens); Congressman Jerry Nadler of the 10th District (much of the West Side south of 122nd Street as well as Chelsea, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Tribeca and Lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn); Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of the 12th District (East Side south of 98th Street and extending into Midtown, the East Village and the Lower East Side, along with Brooklyn and Queens); and Congressman Adriano Espaillat of the 13th District (Harlem, Upper Manhattan and parts of western Bronx).

The incumbent Democrats garnered two-thirds or more of the vote against their Republican and third-party rivals.

Drama was also lacking in Manhattan’s state Senate races. The big winners on Election night were Democratic incumbents Brian Kavanagh of the 26th District (Lower Manhattan, SoHo, NoHo, East Village, Little Italy, Chinatown, Battery Park City, Tribeca, the Financial District and parts of northern Brooklyn); Liz Krueger of the 28th District (Flatiron District, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Midtown and the Upper East Side); Jose Serrano of the 29th District (Upper East and West Sides, Roosevelt Island, East Harlem, Randall’s and Wards Islands, and the South Bronx); Brian Benjamin of the 30th District (Upper Manhattan, Harlem, East Harlem, and the Upper East and West Sides); and Robert Jackson of the 31st District (Inwood, Upper Manhattan, Washington Heights and the Hudson River waterfront down to the Lincoln Tunnel).

Each candidate received no fewer than two-thirds of the vote, according to the unofficial scanner count.

State Senator Brad Hoylman won re-election to his 27th District seat unopposed. The district covers a large chunk of Midtown Manhattan as well as the East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, Tribeca, Hell’s Kitchen and parts of the Upper West Side.

As for the other Assembly seats in Manhattan besides Seawright’s contest, there were only four other competitive races on the ballot Tuesday — and again, the incumbent Democrats appeared to dominate them. 

The big winners included Assemblywoman Deborah Glick of the 66th District (West Village, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Tribeca and Lower Manhattan); Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez of the 68th District (East Harlem, the Upper East Side, Randall’s and Wards Islands); Assemblywoman Inez Dickens of the 70th District (Harlem and West Harlem); and Assemblyman Dan Quart of the 73rd District (Upper East Side and Midtown). 

The other Assembly candidates were re-elected without opposition:

• Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou of the 65th District (Chinatown, Lower Manhattan and the Lower East Side)
• Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of the 67th District (Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown, Upper West Side)
• Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell of the 69th District (Harlem and the Upper West Side)
• Assemblyman Al Taylor of the 71st District (Inwood, Hudson Heights, Washington Heights and Sugar Hill)
• Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa of the 72nd District (Inwood, Hudson Heights, Washington Heights)
• Assemblyman Harvey Epstein of the 74th District (Midtown East, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, East Village, Lower East Side)
• Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of the 75th District (Chelsea, Midtown, Hell’s Kitchen, Upper West Side).