News stories

UFT candidates sweep Senate primaries

Gary Schoichet

UFT District 2 Representative Alfred Gonzales (center) and PS 158, Manhattan, Chapter Leader Melanie Fisher (second from right) take a break from leafletting to pose with victorious Assembly candidate Rebecca Seawright, her husband Jay Hershenson (left) and City Council member Dan Garodnick.

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The UFT-endorsed candidates — from seasoned hands to newcomers — won big in the Sept. 9 primary races. The strong showing by the union’s choices for the state Senate bodes well for turning that chamber Democratic, UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.

“A true Senate Democratic majority is within our reach,” said Mulgrew. “There are more Senate seats in our grasp than we thought was possible.”

All of the union’s preferred state Senate candidates were victorious, indicating a strong hand for the Democrats as they head toward Election Day on Nov. 4..

Jesse Hamilton had a huge victory, garnering 64.9 percent of the vote in a crowded field competing for the District 20 Senate seat in Brooklyn vacated by Eric Adams, the borough president. Leroy Comrie, the former city councilman, won a decisive victory in Queens Senate District 14, with 69.4 percent.

The other UFT-endorsed state Senate primary winners are: Adriano Espaillat, District 31 (Manhattan); James Sanders Jr., District 10 (Queens); Toby Ann Stavisky, District 16 (Queens); Martin Malave Dilan, District 18 (Brooklyn); Gustavo Rivera, District 33 (the Bronx); and Jeffrey Klein, District 34 (Bronx-Westchester).

In the Assembly, Jo Anne Simon won one of the most hotly contested races in District 52 in Brooklyn, with nearly 53 percent of the vote, although the UFT was one of the few unions to throw its support behind her.

The UFT also provided the margin of victory for first-time candidate Rebecca Seawright in Manhattan’s Assembly District 76, where she pulled in 45.3 percent of the vote against three other candidates. She is running for the seat being vacated by Micah Kellner.

Latoya Joyner made her debut as a political candidate with an impressive victory — nearly 70 percent of the vote — against three other candidates for the open seat in Assembly District 77 in the Bronx.

Other Assembly winners endorsed by the UFT are: Margaret Markey, District 30 (Queens); Steven Cymbrowitz, District 45 (Brooklyn); Erik Martin Dilan, District 54 (Brooklyn); Roxanne Persaud, District 59 (Brooklyn); Charles Barron, District 60 (Brooklyn); Herman (Denny) Farrell, District 71 (Manhattan); and José Rivera, District 78 (the Bronx).

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