NEW YORK — Queens Councilman Donovan Richards is set to take over as borough president after election results were certified Tuesday.
Sources told NY1 that Richards — whom the Associated Press declared the winner of the Queens borough president race on Election Night — is expected to complete the paperwork to take over the office Wednesday and an event will be held this weekend.
Richards easily won the election by more than 300,000 votes. He received 69.9% of the vote. Republican candidate Joann Ariola received 27.7%. Independent Dao Yin, who ran against Richards in the Democratic primary in June, finished third and secured 2.3% of the vote.
Sharon Lee has served as interim borough president since January 1, after former borough president Melinda Katz was elected Queens district attorney. Lee was not expected to serve this late into the year, but she held onto the seat after Gov. Andrew Cuomo scrapped the March special election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"It has been an honor to serve as borough president throughout this particularly challenging year,” Lee said in a statement. “Despite staying on much longer than expected, my commitment to serve the people of Queens as necessary is now fulfilled.”
She and Richards made history with the office: Lee was the first Asian American to hold a borough-wide public office in Queens and in the city, and Richards is the second Black person to be elected Queens borough president.
The New York City Board of Elections released the certified results Tuesday after spending weeks counting around 700,000 absentee ballots.
Almost all of the races had already been called by the Associated Press and many news outlets. Most calls were made as absentee ballots started to paint a clearer picture in the days and weeks after Election Day, but in some races, like Queens borough president, calls were made on Election Night as leads for the winning candidates based on in-person votes were determined to be insurmountable.
Among the other key local races certified Tuesday:
Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis’ final margin of victory over incumbent Democrat Rep. Max Rose in the 11th congressional district is 53.1% to 46.9%. Rose conceded the race on November 12.
Republican Michael Tannousis, a former prosecutor, defeated Democrat Brandon Patterson, the former deputy chief of staff for State Sen. Diane Savino on Staten Island, by a 58.5% to 41.5% margin in the 64th Assembly District. Malliotakis is vacating the seat, which covers parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn, for her congressional seat.
Incumbent Democratic Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, who was kicked off the party’s ballot line in May due to a filing error, beat Republican Lou Puliafito by a 57.6% to 42.2% margin in the 76th Assembly District in Manhattan.
Incumbent Democratic State Sen. Andrew Gounardes ended up edging out Republican Vito Bruno by a 51.9% to 48.1% margin (a margin of 3,735 votes) in the 22nd State Senate District. Absentee ballots broke more heavily for Gounardes after Bruno led by about 6,000 in-person votes on Election Night.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly called Andrew Gounardes an Assemblyman. He is a state senator.
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