Early and unofficial returns suggested there could be some upsets in the making as several incumbent Democrats in Queens were either trailing or being pushed hard by challengers in Tuesday’s primaries.
Once the scanners at all polling places are recorded, the process of tabulating mail-in votes will have to begin, meaning some races might not be decided for days.
As of Wednesday afternoon, in preliminary results obtained from the website of the city’s Board of Elections, City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), the party-backed candidate, led former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley by more than 10,000 votes in the race for the Democratic nomination for Queens borough president with 96.5 percent of the scanners reported. Richards had 37.2 percent of the vote in a five-person race while Crowley had 28.2 percent.
Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) was a distant third with 15.2 percent of the vote, followed by Anthony Miranda (14.7) and Dao Yin (4.5 percent).
In the most-watched congressional primary, U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx, Queens) had a lead of more than 20,000 votes over her closest challenger, former television reporter Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, with over 86 percent of the scanners reported in the 14th Congressional District. Ocasio-Cortez had 72.41 percent of the vote with Caruso-Cabrera leading a field of three challengers with 19.49 percent.
Incumbents possibly in trouble included Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven), in the 38th Assembly District. Challenger Jenifer Rajkumar had 52.1 to Miller’s 25.8 percent with 99 percent of the scanners reporting. Miller was only slightly ahead of a second challenger, Joseph De Jesus, who had 21.2 percent.
In the 36th AD, challenger Zohran Kwame Mamdani led incumbent Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) 53.6 to 46.2 with over 91 percent of the machines recorded.
In the 34th AD, Assemblyman Michael Den Dekker (D-East Elmhurst) was trailing Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, 40.4 percent to 22.8 percent in a five-person race with 99 percent of the scanners tabulated.
In the 31st AD in Southeast Queens, Khaleel Anderson, with 38.1 percent, led party-endorsed Richard David (27.9 percent), in a six-candidate field to fill the vacancy left in January when Michele Titus was sworn in as a judge. The totals were with 99 percent of the machines counted.
In another congressional primary, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) appeared to be comfortably ahead of challengers Melquiades Gagarin and Sandra Choi in the 6th CD with 60.1 percent of the vote with more than 98 percent of the machines recorded.
In the 7th CD, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn), with 79.5 percent of the vote, appeared to be coasting against Paperboy Love Prince with more than 98 percent of the scanners recorded.
In the 12th CD, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (41.6 percent) held a narrow lead over Suraj Patel (40 percent) in a four-candidate field with nearly 98 percent of the machine results counted. Lauren Ashcraft (13.3 percent) and Peter Harrison (4.9 percent) might have roles as spoilers if the race remains close going through the paper ballots.
In the 3rd CD, incumbent Tom Suozzi (D-Nassau, Suffolk, Queens) led Melanie D’Arrigo 56 percent to 31.4 percent with 99 percent of the scanners reported. Michael Weinstock had 12.2 percent.
In the 5th District, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) was crushing challenger Shaniyat Chowdhury with 78 percent of the vote, with more than 98 percent of the scanners reporting.
Incumbents appeared comfortably ahead heading into the paper ballots in the remaining Queens races.
In the state Senate, Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) was outpolling Ignazio Terranova, with more than 73 percent of the vote in the 12th SD with 99 percent of the machine vote counted.
In the 13th SD, Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-East Elmhurst) had 84 percent of the vote against Diana Sanchez with more than 93 percent of the machines counted.
In the 24th Assembly District, Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) had 46.4 percent of the vote with more than 98 percent of the machines counted. Challengers Mahfuzal Islam (29.4 percent) and Albert Baldeo (24 percent) were both under 30 percent.
Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona) had nearly 65 percent of the vote against Hiram Monserrate with 99 percent of the machines recorded in the 35th AD.
Asssemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-Queens Village) appeared to be well on his way to a second straight drubbing of challenger Oster Bryan, garnering 86 percent of the vote with 99 percent of the scanners recorded in the race for the 31st AD.
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Long Island City), with 52.3 percent, was ahead of challengers Mary Jobaida (32.9 percent) and Danielle Brecker (14.5 percent) with nearly 96 percent of the machines recorded.
Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Corona) had nearly 84 percent of the vote against Ramon Ramirez with more than 92 percent of the machines counted in the 39th AD.
In the 40th District, Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) had nearly 70 percent of the vote against Steven Lee with almost 97 percent of the machines recorded.