June 23, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Two Queens council members — who recently won special elections to represent their respective districts until the end of the year — have likely secured their seats for a full term.
Council Members Selvena Brooks-Powers and James Gennaro are expected to serve on the City Council for a full term after in-person votes were tallied Tuesday night.
Brooks-Powers secured 68.16 percent of voters’ first-choice votes in the District 31 primary with 92 percent of scanners reported.
Each candidate was able to secure a majority, more than 50 percent, of first-choice votes — the margin needed to win their respective primary races outright in the city’s new ranked choice voting system. However, absentee and affidavit ballots have yet to be tallied.
It’s the second election both Brooks-Powers and Gennaro have participated in only a few months. Each won a nonpartisan special election — in which ranked-choice voting was also deployed — for their respective districts in early 2021.
Brooks-Powers won a special election in March to replace Donovan Richards, who left his seat to become Queens borough president. The council district covers Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens.
Meanwhile, Gennaro won a special election in February to replace Rory Lancman, who left to take a position in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. The council district covers Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills and Jamaica.
The special elections only earned each candidate a temporary stay on the city council—until Dec. 31. They need to win the Democratic primary and the November general election in order to serve a full term.
Brooks-Powers ran yesterday against candidates Nancy Martinez and Nicole Lee. The runner-up in the March special election, Pesach Osina, did not run again in the primary and instead endorsed Brooks-Powers for the D-31 seat.
Gennaro was able to win the majority of first place, in-person votes against challengers Saifur Khan, Mohammad Uddin and Moumita Ahmed, who had strong progressive support. Ahmed received 22.73 percent of votes.
Gennaro will likely face off with Republican Timothy Rosen in the general election on Nov. 2. Rosen earned 59.35 percent of in-person votes in the Republican primary Tuesday against Angelo King.
The Board of Elections is not expected to certify the results of the primary elections until the week of July 12 or later to allow time for absentee ballots to come in.