On to the main event!
Sep 16, 2015 | 16794 views | 0 0 comments | 574 574 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Now that the Democratic primary is over, it's on to the general election to find a replacement for Mark Weprin, who left his City Council seat to join the Cuomo administration.

The main event will feature the fiery Republican candidate Joe Concannon against former assemblyman Barry Grodenchik come November.

But let's not gloss over the primary just yet. For starters, it was held unusually on a Thursday instead of the customary Tuesday. Turnout was already going to be low for a special election, but the strange day of the week only contributed to the low numbers, with less than 7,000 votes cast.

Grodenchik, who enjoyed the backing of the Queens County Democratic Party, received about 28 percent of the vote. Far from an overwhelming majority, but enough to edge out his closest competitor in Bob Friedrich.

But not by much.

Friedrich, a perennial candidate for public office in this district whether it be for a city or state seat, waged perhaps his best campaign ever. He fell just 300 votes or so behind Grodenchik, which isn't bad considering he did it without many endorsements or support outside what he could garner on his own by knocking on doors and greeting voters.

Coming in third was Rebecca Lynch, who outside of Grodenchik with his nod from the Queens Dems, ran perhaps the most traditional campaign, relying on fundraising and political endorsements.

The former aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio got the support of the City Council's Progressive Caucus, the Working Families Party and several labor unions, with the latter two usually a good roadmap to success.

And while she couldn't get the endorsement of her former boss, a political action committee with ties to the mayor did spend a cool $24,000 trying to get her elected, which means she probably had more financial backing than any other candidate.

In the end, it only translated to 20 percent of the vote, but Lynch is young and motivated, so we suspect we haven't seen the last of her.

Going down the list we come to businessman Satnam Singh Parhar, who managed to get 16 percent of the vote, and attorney Ali Najmi, who received 10 percent of the vote.

Najmi was a curious case, as he was actually able to get some high-profile backers. He received the coveted endorsement of the New York Times and the support of Zephyr Teachout, who ran an impressive anti-establishment campaign against Governor Andrew Cuomo in the last election. In the end, none of that seemed to resonate with voters.

Rounding out the field was former assembly and congressional staffer Celia Dosamantes.

Now Grodenchik sets his sights on Concannon, who is pictured here opening his campaign office over the weekend. The district is heavily Democratic, giving Grodenchik a big advantage, but we're not going to count Concannon out just yet.

Concannon has a little bit of Donald Trump's political style in him – brash and bold and he sometimes goes a little too far – which would normally sink any respectable political campaign.

But these aren't normal times. Look how well the strategy is working for The Donald.

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