Antonio Reynoso Set to Become New Brooklyn Borough President

Mark Levine is poised to become the next Manhattan borough president while Vanessa Gibson appears to have won the Bronx borough president seat.

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Three former City Council members are at the cusp of reshaping how New Yorkers live, work, and navigate their neighborhoods over the next decade.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Upper West Side Council Member Mark Levine and West Bronx Council Member Vanessa Gibson appeared to have won borough president seats for their respective boroughs after the New York City Board of Elections finished counting in-person and absentee ballots through the city’s ranked-choice voting system Tuesday night.

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Reynoso, who is vying to replace Brooklyn Borough President and heavy mayoral favorite Eric Adams, declared victory in the Democratic primary Tuesday after he outpaced a field of a dozen candidates across 11 rounds of ranked-choice tabulations. The final round put him ahead of Brooklyn Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon by 55 to 45 percent out of about 200,000 ballots cast. 

I’ve spent my life giving back to the community that made me who I am and striving to make it a better place for all of us,” Reynoso said in a statement. “We have the opportunity to fight for not only a just recovery that centers communities of color and those most harmed by this pandemic, but real, systemic change to address the racial, social, and economic inequities that got us here in the first place.”

The New York City Council Sanitation Committee chairman campaigned on a platform of allowing Brooklyn residents to have a greater say over the city’s opaque land use review process and development sites in their neighborhoods. Reynoso favored a community-driven plan to rezone a 300-block swath of Bushwick, which had been discussed since 2014. 

The de Blasio administration refused to take up the proposal in favor of its own, so Reynoso sunk the city’s plan in the City Council last January. Now, he’ll be tasked to advance a new development proposal for North Brooklyn with a likely Adams administration next year. 

Reynoso has also touted a plan to create a boroughwide network of protected bike lanes, including one on the congested Atlantic Avenue, as well as a car-free busway on Berry Street in Williamsburg. He would be the first Latino borough president in King County’s history.

Reynoso wasn’t the only politician to make history this summer. Gibson is poised to become the first female and first Black borough president in Bronx County’s history after surpassing four opponents over three rounds of voting. Fellow Bronx Council Member Fernando Cabrera conceded Saturday to Gibson, who serves as the council’s Public Safety Committee chairwoman, after preliminary results showed he lost 54 to 47 percent.

And, in Manhattan, Levine outlasted a field of seven candidates that included West Side state Sen. Brad Hoylman, Upper East Side Council Member Ben Kallos, Community Board 7 Chair Elizabeth Caputo, and former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan through seven rounds of voting. Levine, chairman of the council’s Health Committee, would replace his term-limited predecessor Gale Brewer, who easily won back her former council seat on the Upper West Side.

Uptown pol Levine counted Tenants PAC, a progressive tenants rights advocacy group, and labor groups representing building workers and hotel employees among his top endorsers. Levine thanked supporters after Hoylman acknowledged coming up short in the final round, 54 to 46 percent.

“I’m just so grateful for this opportunity, grateful to the voters of Manhattan, who are allowing me to step up and take on this critical role,” Levine told New York Daily News Monday.

Other races in Queens and Staten Island were far more close.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards maintained a 1,044-vote lead over former Maspeth council member Elizabeth Crowley in the city’s unofficial ranked-choice tally. 

Staten Island Democrat Mark Murphy took the crowded borough president primary in only three rounds, while former Republican congressman Vito Fossella led Staten Island Council Member Steven Matteo by only 290 votes in the GOP primary for the seat. Matteo conceded Tuesday for the seat the GOP has held for 30 years

There will be plenty of new faces in the City Council, too, after more than three-fourths of the governing body was term-limited out of office. 

Former Queens district attorney candidate Tiffany Cabán leads a new wave of progressive candidates who secured endorsements from the Democratic Socialists of America into City Hall. Caban declared victory the night of the June 22 primary and ultimately won 62 percent of the vote.

Joining her will be Long Island City’s Julie Won, who secured 57 percent of the vote after 15 rounds of voting, and Jackson Heights’ Shekar Krishnan, who took 53 percent of the vote after seven rounds of voting.

Other primary winners include Shahana Hanif, who fended off several candidates to win Park Slope Council Member Brad Lander’s term-limited seat; Crystal Hudson, who edged Michael Hollingsworth in Crown Heights; Erik Bottcher, who led opponents in the race to replace term-limited Council Speaker Corey Johnson; Forest Hills’ Lynn Schulman, who emerged from a crowd of nine candidates; Soundview’s Amanda Farias, who will supplant former Bronx council member Ruben Diaz Sr.; Jennifer Gutiérrez, who captured Reynoso’s seat; Greenpoint’s Lincoln Restler, who will succeed Council Member Stephen Levin, and Lower Manhattan’s Christopher Marte, who barely lost to Manhattan Council Member Margaret Chin four years ago.

At least two incumbents lost their seats: Former council member Darlene Mealy upset East New York Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, and Sandra Nurse defeated Bushwick Council Member Darma Diaz