The Democratic Primary race in Council District 3 has yet to be officially called, but candidate Erik Bottcher is declaring victory after preliminary results show him holding a seemingly insurmountable lead to become the next local representative for Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen and Greenwich Village.
Bottcher – who formerly served as chief of staff to City Council Speaker and current District 3 rep Corey Johnson – had received 47.4 percent of the vote after all first-choice ballots cast on Tuesday and early voting were counted, according to NY1. Arthur Schwartz trailed Bottcher in distant second with second with 15.1 percent of the vote, followed by Leslie Boghosian Murphy with 14 percent, Aleta LaFargue with 9.9 percent, Marni Halasa with 8 percent and Phelan Dante Fitzpatrick with 5.6 percent.
Bottcher’s 7,775-vote lead is not quite enough to call the race yet, as he would need to hit the 50 percent threshold in order to officially be declared the victor; however, the absentee ballots waiting to be tallied will likely take Bottcher over the top. If not, then the ranked choices will be tabulated until 50 percent of the vote is accumulated. The city does not expect to have final certified results until mid-July.
“We did it! We did it!” Bottcher announced to a raucous crowd at Chelsea Bell Tuesday night after results showed him with a commanding lead. “This is one of the most consequential elections in the history of New York City, and I am completely honored by your support.”
He thanked his opponents for running honorable campaigns and promised to work with them when he takes office.
“To bring New York back, we have to come together!”
Of the opposing candidates, only Fitzpatrick as of Thursday has released a public statement to concede the race.
“Erik has his work cut out for him and I wish him the absolute best, and Godspeed, as his success now means the success for the people of District 3,” he said in a statement. “He will need our community’s support, and I know all of the candidates will stand firmly behind him, and stay committed to improving our communities.”
With his experience maneuvering city government and his ties to Johnson, Bottcher has long been seen as the favorite to win the District 3 race. As of now, Bottcher is the only candidate seeking election in District 3 as no Republicans sought their party’s nomination Tuesday. Independent candidates may still enter race for the general election in November – but, considering the demographics of the district, Bottcher will still be the favorite to take his former boss’s seat.
“This is one of the most consequential elections in the history of New York City, and I am completely honored by your support.” Erik Bottcher