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Politics

New York Primary Results (so far) for Greek-American Candidates

NEW YORK – With many of the absentee ballots yet to be counted, the winners of some of the races in the primary election in New York have yet to be determined, while other candidates are showing decisive leads in their respective races.

New York State Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris at last tally seems to be cruising to a triumphant reelection victory against his opponent Iggy Terranova. 

Gianaris issued the following statement declaring victory in the June 23 Democratic primary election: “This election was unlike any we’ve experienced and I am thrilled that thousands of Queens residents delivered our campaign a resounding victory affirming our progressive vision for change. Thank you to all my supporters for their hard work and commitment as we worked through unprecedented challenges. I look forward to continuing our fight on behalf of working people for a fairer and more just society.”

A video message from Senator Gianaris is available here.

In Brooklyn, New York State Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis of Staten Island declared victory in the Republican Primary on June 23, defeating her opponent Joseph Caldarera handily and clinching the Republican nomination for New York's 11th Congressional District. The district itself includes all of Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn. New York's 11th is a conservative-leaning one, making Malliotakis the favorite for the seat against vulnerable incumbent Rep. Max Rose.

In her victory speech at GOP Headquarters in Staten Island on June 23, Assemblywoman Malliotakis thanked all her supporters and noted her immigrant roots, “As most of you know … I am a first generation American whose father emigrated from Greece for a better life and whose mother fled Cuba as teenager to escape the clutch of communism when Fidel Castro seized power.”

She also noted her achievements over the last 10 years, “I have represented Staten Island and South Brooklyn in the New York State Assembly and have fought against the liberals who now rule this city and state, I have fought against high taxes and bad schools, against bail reform and Sanctuary City polices that protect criminals here illegally, I sued the Port Authority to achieve transparency, and took on the MTA, too.”

Malliotakis added, “I will continue that fight in Washington … and you have my word the I will stand on the floor of the House Chambers and vote for common sense solutions to the problems that vex us today.”

In the same geographic area, Cypriot-American Michael Tannousis has a commanding lead over his opponent Marko Kepi for the New York State. Assembly District 64 seat, previously held by Malliotakis. “Tannousis led Kepi by more than 1,000 votes, according to unofficial election results, but Kepi claimed 2,600 absentee ballots would still need to be counted,” SILive.com reported, adding that “Republican Party Chairman Brendan Lantry dubbed Tannousis the apparent victor but said he would wait for paper ballots to be counted.”

Lantry told SILive that “We all see the same numbers, there are not 2,600 absentee ballots outstanding. Just last year, Staten Island saw a razor-thin election for Civil Court judge which went down to the paper ballots. Tonight, it is clear that Michael Tannousis has won in the live votes that were cast today and during early voting. We’re going to let the process of counting the absentee ballots begin, but it is apparent that Michael Tannousis has won the Republican nomination.”

Meanwhile, the absentee ballots will likely prove decisive in the nail-biting affair in the New York State Assembly's 36th district as incumbent Aravella Simotas currently trails her opponent Zohran Mamdani. Simotas was first elected to her seat in 2011 and was the first female ever elected to the New York State Assembly from her district. 

Queens Borough President candidate Costa Constantinides is in third-place behind Elizabeth Crowley and leading vote-getter Donovan Richards. New York City Council Member Constantinides was vying to become the first Greek and Cypriot American to ever head one of New York City's five boroughs. He issued the following statement on the June 23 Democratic primary: 

“I first want to thank everyone who joined our campaign to Transform Queens … We will likely not know the results of this race for another week, when the absentee ballots are counted. But tonight’s results show people are ready to Transform Queens. However, we are incredibly disappointed by the Board of Election’s inability to deliver ballots to all those who requested them. New Yorkers, especially the 2.3 million who call Queens home, need new reforms to how we cast ballots — starting with a legitimate vote-by-mail system. More crises are on the horizon, and this underscores why we need reform to ensure democracy is never disrupted. 

“Last, I want to thank my fellow candidates for a civil discourse over the last year. There were many forums, candidate nights, and, later on, Zoom debates. No matter where life takes us, I look forward to working with you all.”

Noted Philhellene incumbent U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY 12th District) is holding a slim advantage over her opponent Suraj Patel. Rep. Maloney, who is the current Chair of the House Oversight Committee and co-chair and founder of the Hellenic Congressional Caucus, was challenged by Patel in her previous primary in 2017 as well.

Maloney released the following statement on June 24: “I am so grateful to all the voters who showed up yesterday, who voted early and who voted absentee to return me to Congress. This campaign was an opportunity not to just highlight my record of accomplishment and vision for a fairer future, but to talk about the opportunities ahead to advance police and criminal justice reform, to expand assistance to the millions impacted by COVID-19, and to hold President Trump accountable in what we are working to ensure are the final months of his disastrous presidency.”

Updated percentages of the primary voting results are available online: https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/election-results.

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