Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens Village) easily beat challenger Clyde Vanel last Thursday to hold on to her 33rd District seat.
She received 63.4 percent of the vote while her opponent garnered 36.6 percent, according to preliminary numbers from the Board of Elections. Clark is unchallenged in the November general election and has ensured victory with this win.
“I am gratified by the voters’ continued support of my service and record,” Clark said in an email statement. “It is now my intent to shift my focus to addressing scores of issues that will impact on the ability of my constituents to access their polling sites without chaos and confusion during the general election.”
Redistricting and the rearrangement of polling sites caused a lot of confusion among voters, particularly seniors who said they had been going to the same location for years.
“Yesterday demonstrated that reducing the number of polling sites and increasing the number of voters assigned to those schools within cafeterias or gyms that are too small to accommodate the larger numbers of voters will not work!” she said.
Vanel expressed similar sentiments.
“I think voter confusion hurt both me and Assemblywoman Clark,” Vanel said Friday. “If this is any indication of things to come, I think it’s going to be a mess in November.”
The attorney was gracious about his loss, saying he was “disappointed, but not angry.” He vowed to continue to work to improve the community despite his failed bid for elective office.
“Elections can be unpredictable,” Vanel said. “You try your best. You try hard, but at the end of the day it’s up to the people to decide.”
Clark, 73, has held the seat since 1987 and represents neighborhoods including Bellerose, Cambria Heights, Hollis, St. Albans and Queens Village. Vanel also lost a bid against Clark in 2010 by a similar margin, receiving 33.2 percent of the vote to Clark’s 66.8 percent.