Democrat Elizabeth Crowley pulled off a stunning victory on Tuesday, defeating incumbent Councilman Anthony Como (R-Middle Village) by almost 4,000 votes in the election for the District 30 seat.
Crowley, who ran twice before, will be the first Democrat to take the district seat since it was created in 1991.
“There are far too many people in this district who felt under-represented for far too long,” Crowley told a roaring crowd at the Woodhaven House, in Rego Park. She was joined earlier in the evening by her cousin, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights).
Unofficial results show Crowley with a tally of 18,592 to Como’s 14,603.
And as balloons popped in the dimly lit restaurant, Crowley thanked those who helped her get elected, and highlighted education as a primary focus of her term.
The mood at Republican headquarters, located on Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood, stood in sharp contrast to the Democrat’s festivities. Como, accompanied by Sen. Serphin Maltese (R-Glendale) — who also lost his re-election bid — addressed a crowd of about 50 shortly after 10:30 p.m. to announce he had conceded.
Como said he knew from the beginning this would be a tough battle, with Barack Obama drawing Democrats out to the polls in record numbers. “Make no mistake, this was a presidential defeat,” he said, rather than a statement on his time in office. Some audience members were bordering on tears.
“I don’t regret, and I’m very proud of every step that we’ve taken to have gotten this far.”
Como has only served as a councilman for a matter of months. District voters elected him to the seat in a June special election after former Councilman Dennis Gallagher resigned as part of a plea deal following charges of sexual assault. He defeated Crowley in that race by just 41 votes.
This may not be the final matchup between the two. Crowley will have to stand for re-election just one year from now, as this one was only to serve out the end of Gallagher’s term. A spokesman for Como did not comment on whether the councilman would run again next year, but said it wasn’t too early to start thinking about it.
Crowley, who first ran for the seat in 2001 against Gallagher, will be sworn into office in January.