In a hard-fought primary race that took some rather ugly turns, Democratic incumbent Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona)held onto his seat in the 35th District of the Assembly, defeating challenger Anthony Miranda by a tentative vote of 2,289 to 1,355 on Tuesday, according to the New York City Board of Elections. Final tallies, which will include as yet uncounted paper votes, will not be available for another two weeks.
Aubry, 62, has represented the district, which is composed of East Elmhurst, LeFrak City and parts of Corona, Woodside, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, since 1992, when he won a special election.
Repeated telephone messages to his office for a post-election statement were not returned.
The primary marked the first time in many years that Aubry faced a challenger for the office. Miranda, 49, called Aubry “a political insider,” saying that for years “he never had any race to contend with. He never had an opponent willing to take on the challenge.”
During his latest campaign, Aubry had been accused by his opponent of being pro-prisoner as a longtime champion of efforts—eventually successful to reform the Rockefeller drug laws.
As chairman of the Assembly Standing Committee on Corrections, Aubry sponsored and passed numerous pieces of legislation aimed at improving the criminal justice system. He was an original sponsor of legislation that overhauled sentencing laws from 1970s.
Miranda, a retired city police sergeant, may have been hurt by his association with ousted Sen. Hiram Monserrate, whose conviction of misdemeanor assault on his girlfriend resulted in his expulsion.
Together with Monserrate, Miranda co-founded the Latino Officers Association. The two successfully sued the NYPD in 1999, alleging it created a hostile work environment for minority officers.
Miranda also founded the National Latino Officers Association, a group that defends the rights of law enforcement officers and citizens.
In Tuesday’s election, Monserrate waged a losing battle as an Assembly candidate in the neighboring 39th District.
The endorsement of former Mayor Ed Koch and support of the Daily News was apparently not enough to push Miranda over the top. Koch had earlier applauded Miranda as “Hero of Reform,” lauding him for being straightforward about his viewpoints.
A representative for Miranda issued a statement on his behalf, saying, “I congratulate Jeff Aubry on his re-election. The turnout in the primary shows there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done in the community. I want to get more people involved in the process.”
Reports during the early stages of the campaign indicated that Aubry had raised and spent nearly twice as much money as Miranda since Jan. 1. Disclosures from the state Board of Elections put Aubry’s contributions at $87,616; Miranda raised $45,507.
Aubry has said that he sees himself as a community advocate, and that voters should work to get rid of bad apples in Albany, but that he was not one of them.
Prior to serving in the Assembly, Aubry, who received a bachelor of arts degree from the College of Santa Fe, held a number of positions within city government, including director of economic development for the office of the Queens Borough President.