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Public Advocate Gotbaum Fends Off Challenge; Morgenthau, Hynes Win DA Races; Jennings Loses Council Seat

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The Democratic primary for mayor received most of the attention Tuesday, but there were a number of other citywide and local races of interest.

In the primary for public advocate, incumbent Betsy Gotbaum defeated civil rights Attorney Norman Siegel, businessman Andrew Rasiej, and Queens dentist Jay Golub. Gotbaum captured 48 percent of the vote to Siegel’s 30 percent.

In the race for Manhattan district attorney, longtime incumbent Robert Morgenthau defeated challenger Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder by a 59 to 40 percent margin. Morgenthau is also running on the Republican line in the general election in November, so the 86-year-old is assured of another four years in office.

In Brooklyn, incumbent District Attorney Charles Hynes fended off a challenge from three candidates: former Assistant Brooklyn D.A. Arnold Kriss, State Senator John Sampson and Mark Peters, a former deputy to State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Hynes captured 41 percent of the vote.

There were nine candidates hoping to replace outgoing Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, and the hotly contested race was won by State Assemblyman Scott Stringer, who topped City Council members Eva Moskowitz and Margarita Lopez with 25 percent of the vote.

All 51 City Council seats were also up for election this year. Nearly half had primary races, but only a handful were in serious play.

The most high profile race was in Queens, and it involved incumbent Councilman Allan Jennings, who lost to Thomas White. Jennings was accused of sexual harassment, and was later punished by his council colleagues for allegedly mistreating female employees.

White, meanwhile, once represented the district in the City Council for 10 years before being term limited out of office in 2001.

Despite Jennings’ loss, it was a good night for council incumbents. Members who won their races include G. Oliver Koppel in the Bronx; Hiram Monserrate, James Sanders and Melinda Katz in Queens; Letitia James, Charles Barron and Yvette Clarke in Brooklyn; and Robert Jackson and Rosie Mendez in Manhattan.

Another notable victory was turned in by Jessica Lappin, who captured the nomination for outgoing City Council Speaker Gifford Miller’s council seat representing the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Lappin previously worked for Miller at City Hall.

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