Eric Edges Lew
Lew Simon was thisclose. With 70 percent of precincts reporting he was leading incumbent Eric Ulrich by 4 points. Queens County Clerk Audrey Pheffer, State Senator Joe Addabbo, and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder joined Simon and his closest supporters at the Irish Circle on Tuesday night as election results rolled in. Victory was at hand. Until it wasn’t.
Close to midnight, three hours after polls closed, the news came in that incumbent Republican Eric Ulrich had surged ahead. With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Ulrich now had his own 4 point edge. And with just 12 percent remaining, there weren’t enough votes still uncounted for Simon to pull off the upset.
Still, according to Simon it’s not over until it’s over. That means he’ll be counting absentee ballots and affidavits before conceding.
Unofficial totals came in as follows: 18,178 were cast with Ulrich getting 9658 and Simon coming in at 8,520 – 1,138 votes separated the two.
It was the closest race of the night among citywide elections.
Winner Ulrich said the next day, “The right to vote and choose who represents us is perhaps the most cherished privilege we have as Americans. I consider it an honor to serve my friends and neighbors in the City Council and am grateful for the support I received in every corner of the district, including Rockaway. Lew Simon was a formidable opponent who ran a hard fought campaign. I look forward to working with him and other community leaders to help the peninsula rebuild and recover.”
On the east end of the peninsula Democrat incumbent Donovan Richards won overwhelmingly. He earned better than 92 percent of the vote. With 18,677 votes cast Richards received 17,226. Republican Scherie Murray garnered just 952 while Ricardo Brown on the Jobs and Education line got less than 3 percent with 499 votes.
Richards said, “I’m humbled and grateful to continue to serve the people of the 31st district. I look forward to continuing to build on the foundation of work we’ve done over the past eight months for another four years.”