June 23, 2021 By Ryan Songalia and Christian Murray
Donovan Richards and Elizabeth Crowley are in a tight race to determine who will win the Democratic primary for Queens Borough President.
Richards, the incumbent, generated 64,814 of first-choice votes, or 40.53 percent of the vote, ahead of Elizabeth Crowley who brought in 62,738 votes, or 40.20 percent. The margin that separates the pair is 2,076 votes.
Jimmy Van Bramer, the third candidate in the race, brought in 27,813 of first-choice votes, representing 17.82 percent of the vote.
The winner will come down to ranked-choice voting as neither Richards or Crowley earned more than 50 percent of first-choice votes. The victor will be determined by Van Bramer voters — who they selected as their second choice will ultimately determine the race.
Richards was viewed as the favorite going into the race, having taken office in December after winning a special election in November. His current term ends Dec. 31, since he is completing what would have been Melinda Katz’s term.
Katz vacated the seat to become Queens District Attorney.
Richards went into the race with a number of endorsements from high-profile elected officials, including Congressmembers Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Carolyn Maloney and Tom Suozzi. He also had major unions backing his campaign, including from the New York City Central Labor Council, United Federation of Teachers and SEIU Local 32BJ.
Crowley’s was not endorsed by any high-profile elected officials, although she cross-endorsed with mayoral candidate Andrew Yang. She did receive the support of unions like the Transport Workers Union Local 100, Uniformed Firefighters Association and the New York State Iron Workers District Council.
But what she lacked in endorsements she made up for in campaign spending.
She outspent both Richards and Van Bramer on the race.
She spent $1,185,447 on the campaign, while Van Bramer spent $792,601, according to the latest campaign finance filing on June 11. Richards spent $480,581 on the race.
Queens residents will likely not know the official winner of the borough president race for weeks.
The Board of Elections (BOE) will release the results of the ranked-choice tabulation in one week — on Tuesday, June 29 — based on in-person votes. The board will continue to update the results each week as absentee ballots come in.
The BOE is not expected to certify the results of the election until the week of July 12 or later to allow time for absentee ballots to come in.