Tuesday, April 15, 2014


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Several Entrenched Members Of Democratic Party Fall In City Council Primaries

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There were some surprises in last night's City Council races, where one incumbent lost her seat after a decade in office and the controversial Vito Lopez won't be heading to City Hall. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Antonio Reynoso is now a pretty popular guy in Williamsburg. He defeated disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

"Inside of this district, I think it was very clear to folks that it's about who can bring resources to the community," Reynoso said. "And they knew that a disgraced ex-assemblymember was going to have a hard time bringing resources to a community with a lot of needs."

Reynoso is one of several young, progressive candidates who ended up beating entrenched members of the city's Democratic party.

Another was Ben Kallos. He defeated Assemblyman Micah Kellner on the Upper East Side.

The race was turned upside down when Kellner was accused of sexual harassment.

"I'm not sure that the Albany politics has a place in the city," Kallos said.

Some advocates claim it's a trend.

"The voters resoundly rejected every single candidate who had issues of sexual misconduct in their past," said Sonia Assorio of the National Organization for Women NYC.

These candidates weren't the only ones claiming victory. So was the city's real estate industry, which spent an unprecedented amount of cash to sway this year's council races.

"City Council members need to understand that the business community is behind their pro-growth agenda, their agenda to create good jobs in the city of New York," said Steven Spinola of the Real Estate Board of New York.

The real estate group Jobs for New York spent nearly $5 million on flyers.

But their efforts were not successful everywhere. In Red Hook, Carlos Menchaca beat 10-year incumbent Sara Gonzalez. Gonzalez was backed by Jobs for New York.

Menchaca is the first Mexican-American to be elected to the City Council.

"These community members are immigrant working families. These are people that have, for a long time now, been ignored," he said.

All told, come January, the City Council will have 20 new faces, including Menchaca. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/) Profile: TWCSAMLSP