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Lander emerges ahead of Johnson in city comptroller’s race

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Brooklyn City Council Member Brad Lander celebrated his primary victory in Gowanus.
Photo by Aidan Graham

In a 10-person race, Progressive Comptroller candidate and City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) has garnered a significant 31.31% of first place votes after last night’s primary day tally with the ranked choice voting and absentee ballots yet to be tallied.

With 96.62% of the scanners reported citywide, Lander received 229,021 votes to second place finisher City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s 164,858 votes or 22.54% of scanned votes counted. Journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera finished third with 99,216 votes or 13.56%.

“There are still a lot of votes…and Democracy is worth waiting for. But, so far, we are the number one choice of a whole lot of New Yorkers,” said Lander at his exuberant election night party in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn.

“Obviously the biggest thanks goes to the hardest working, most extraordinary, most brilliant campaign team. You did this because you know that our city is capable of something a lot more beautiful than we have. That we are capable of genuinely honoring essential workers — not just with clapping, but with workplace protections, and minimum wages, and paid sick leave, and retirement security,” he added.

Also at the party was Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a big Lander supporter, who along with Lander and 10 other city council members founded the Council’s Progressive Caucus in 2010.

“This means that our message is working, our message is right — especially when it’s from people who actually believe it, and not from people who are reacting to the changing winds, but from people like Brad who helped make those winds in the first place,” said Williams.

“To be here with Brad — and I just came from Antonio [Reynoso – the first round leader under RCV for Brooklyn Borough President] — It’s just f—— amazing.”

Lander’s campaign also received the endorsement of The New York Times, Bronx/Queens Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

While holding a commanding lead, the election remains far from over. Under RCV, if no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the vote, second, third, fourth and fifth place voted must be counted. Additionally, The city’s Board of elections reportedly received about 220,000 requests for absentee ballots.

Official results are not expected until mid-July.

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