No surprises at all in local primaries

The Brooklyn Paper
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There were no primary election upsets in our coverage area, but that’s to be expected in New York City democracy. Here’s all the news that’s fit to print on a tight, caffeine-aided deadline (though all results reflect all precincts reporting):

Congress — Democrats

Rep. Ed Towns, 19,816
Kevin Powell, 8,991

10th District

Canarsie, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Downtown

Towns easily defeated his rival, Kevin Powell, who has constantly talked about a youthquake in the district, even as he has never generated traction among voters.

“I see my victory as a vindication, and that the voters want me to go back to Washington and work hard on health care to strengthen it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working very hard.”

Towns is currently the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Powell, the former “Real World” star turned author and public speaker, ran into trouble during the campaign when it was revealed that he owes more than $600,000 in back taxes.

“He may have won tonight, but he did not win the hearts of Brooklyn people,” Powell claimed, vowing to return to challenge Towns in 2012.

State Senate — Democrats

Velmanette Montgomery, 12,742
Mark Pollard, 3,104

18th District

Fort Greene, Park Slope and Red Hook

Incumbent Velmanette Montgomery won in an 81-19 percent landslide over newcomer Mark Pollard, yet another weak challenger to a senator who has been in Albany since 1986.

Some said Pollard was a fresh face, but Montgomery won big, in part due to her support for the federal Superfund clean-up of the Gowanus Canal, the fetid waterway that now has a federal budget, and her longtime opposition to the Atlantic Yards mega-development.

Assembly — Democrats

Joan Millman, 6,826
Doug Biviano, 2,450

52nd District

DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope

Incumbent Assemblywoman Joan Millman held her seat over challenger Doug Biviano by a 73–26 percentage vote, effectively ending a long squabble between she and Biviano over her “double dipping” by taking her public school teacher’s pension, her alleged lack of leadership on MTA cuts, and her role in overall Albany dysfunction.

“It feels good, but we’re still working,” Millman said from the election war room on First Place and Court Street in Cobble Hill. “Already I have bills in the works, and I’ll be tying up loose ends until January.”

One of those loose ends, she said, is a bill that would funnel federal stimulus money toward the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s operating expenses — mostly because the city could soon charge straphangers “more for using transit less.”

The statement flies in the face of Biviano, who recently lambasted the incumbent for posing for a photo op against transit budget cuts, right after she voted to reduce the agency’s funding.

That said, Biviano was unreachable for the entirety of election night.

For now, the MTA bill and Millman’s support for housing inside Brooklyn Bridge Park — which would help fund its expensive maintenance budget but turn the “park” into the backyard of a development — will prove to be her most challenging immediate projects.

District leaders


Chris Owens, 2,154
Jesse Strauss, 1,361

Stephen Williamson, 771


Jo Anne Simon, 2,645
Hope Reichbach, 1,657

52nd Assembly District

DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope

In the male district leader race, Chris Owens owns Downtown.

The wild three-way race to succeed retiring state committeeman Alan Fleischman ended in a big victory by the political veteran who received redemption after a failed bid for Congress four years ago.

Voters in Prospect Heights and Park Slope carried Owens to victory on Tuesday night, in addition to steady support he received in Brooklyn Heights, according to unofficial poll results.

“We won because we had a winning strategy, we understood the district, we understood where our base was in a low turnout election, and we knew how to expand our base,” said Owens. “People wanted change and they wanted somebody with substance they didn’t want more political games and we made that clear.

Owens’s victory is a significant hold for Brownstone Brooklyn reform groups, which risked losing the seat to a candidate backed by the county’s chairman.

During the race, Owens campaigned against Williamson, who was endorsed by Democratic party chairman Vito Lopez, as the machine-backed candidate, and against Strauss, who had been endorsed by Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D-Boerum Hill), as the Albany-backed candidate.

Owens, son of former congressmen Major Owens, has already pledged to cast his vote against Lopez in his bid for party chairman later this month.

On the distaff side of this district, Simon fended off a furious challenge from political upstart Hope Reichbach.

“This is a reform district, this is an independent district that cares about accountability, transparency and the rule of law and this is a district that said we want to choose our leadership,” said Simon at her campaign headquarters at Independent Neighborhood Democrats. “It’s as simple as that.”

Simon drew her strength from Park Slope, Boerum Hill, and Boerum Heights, as well as several polling sites in Carroll Gardens — the heart of Brownstone Brooklyn.

Both women have been clashing for months. Simon has accused Reichbach of being a party stooge who will vote in lockstep with the party’s chairman, Vito Lopez, and Reichbach has lambasted Simon’s “sense of entitlement” for the seat and dismissed her reform credentials, claiming that she was the true progressive in the race.

Voters in Brownstone Brooklyn responded strongly to Simon’s message of experience and reform, choosing to back the woman who has served as the district’s state committeewoman since 2004.

But Reichbach’s polling of 37 percent was a strong showing for the first-time candidate whose family, including her father, judge Gus Reichbach, remains well-respected in Downtown, and even Simon conceded that Reichbach has a bright future in politics.

Reichbach, for her part, vowed to carry on.

“You know, I’m 22 and I got more votes than I thought I would need,” said Reichbach. “I’m not upset right now. I’m going out with my friends right now on Smith Street and I don’t have to wear a suit. I’m happy with that.”

— with Thomas Tracy

Updated 5:20 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Curious from Carroll Gardens says:
What about Restler and Zidar?
Sept. 15, 2010, 7:34 am
Mayor from Williamsburg says:
Restler made it ahead with 50 votes
Sept. 15, 2010, 7:39 am
Bob Scott from Bklyn Hts says:
Does BP have info on Williamsburg district leader races?
Sept. 15, 2010, 8:17 am
Curious from Carroll Gardens says:
Thanks, Mayor. Did Zidar lose?
Sept. 15, 2010, 8:30 am
reformer from brooklyn says:
Is the Restler victory official? His Facebook pages says he won with 50.2%.
Sept. 15, 2010, 8:31 am
Frank from Ft. Greene says:
Senator Montgomery wins with the highest margin of any of the officials you report and the best you can do is to slightly backpeddle on your earlier biased description of her terrific Superfund support! Instead of apologizing for backing a complete charlatan, who is no longer an "agent for change" and is now just "another weak challenger?" Talk about an out of step paper!
Sept. 15, 2010, 8:41 am
Reader from Williamsburg says:
With all the coverage you gave to the Lopez-Esteban campaign for District Leader, I am surprised to see it missing from your coverage. Where is the coverage for it? Where is the picture of Lopez celebrating his huge win? "I'm gonna need you to say something baby" Surely, you must have a special article just on them?
Sept. 15, 2010, 9:12 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
"and Millman’s support for housing inside Brooklyn Bridge Park — which would help fund its expensive maintenance budget but turn the “park” into the backyard of a development — will prove to be her most challenging immediate projects."

has the brooklyn paper become a shill for one point of view or is this an infomercial?

While no one really prefers more housing in the park(there is already housing in the park....its 360 Furman Street aka One Brooklyn Bridge Park), both the original agreement to build the park and the City's agreement when it agreed to put additional funding in requires the Park to be self sufficient. Unfortunately, no one has come up with a viable funding mechanism without housing. yes I know the Squadron plan that would dedicate money from increased bulk near the park as a result of rezoning(which means nothing from Brooklyn Heights since its impossible to rezone there) but this takes money for schools police etc from OUTSIDE the park. There is a consultant's report coming which I suspect will have unrealistic assumptions in order to say funding will be available from other sources- hey how about a condo parking garage? Clearly the difference is some people are willing to consider reasonable alternatives while others just have to have their way or no way.
So I wish the Brooklyn paper was more objective in their "reporting" and complete Lincoln Restler unreported.
Sept. 15, 2010, 10:38 am
tee gee from bay ridge says:
hey did ralph perfetto win?
Sept. 15, 2010, 11:02 am
Andy from Greenpoint says:
Links to the north and south Brooklyn races are on the main page of the site. @tee gee — no.
Sept. 15, 2010, 11:06 am
buddy from Brooklyn Heights says:
Sid, you are wrong on almost every point when you speak about Brooklyn Bridge Park:
1. The original agreement was NOT for total self sufficient park. Look at the facts in the MOU. Funds to "help support the park" not total funds to not only maintain the park but capital funds to build and rebuild it. A huge difference!
2. Squadron's plan IS a real plan to pay for the park without more housing inside a public park's foot print and there are PLENTY of properties in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and DUMBO that are now zoned for non-residential use that could be taxed - all the Jehovah Witness buildings, LICH buildings in addition to industrial going over to residential. And unlike the Millman PILOT plan, he doesn't look to take all the tax dollars and put them into the park, his plan is only the percent increase.
3. There were many revenue generators from the Master Plan that have been ignored by the ESDC. Look at the 2001 master plan - all revenue sources possible to have tapped without private housing inside a park.
4. The costs for operating this "park" are ridiculously inflated. How many Toyota Priuses and dune buggies are needed to operate 64 acres of land (take out the water and exisiting building footprints)? Certainly not the 15 that are planned in the budget. This is by a factor of 2 the most expensive park to operate, even when you take out ALL the captial expenses for pier rebuilding.
4. You are absolutely right - tax dollars should not be diverted from the general tax base to support one "park". But that is exactly what Millman supported with the PILOT legislation she sponsored back in 2005. Some think that is the real scam - I guess you do too! The housing inside of this park takes money away from police, schools, etc for the rest of the city. That is bad.

Seems like you are right, some people have to have their way or no way no matter what on this issue. Got a mirror?
Sept. 15, 2010, 12:32 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
4. The costs for operating this "park" are ridiculously inflated. How many Toyota Priuses and dune buggies are needed to operate 64 acres of land (take out the water and exisiting building footprints)? Certainly not the 15 that are planned in the budget. This is by a factor of 2 the most expensive park to operate, even when you take out ALL the captial expenses for pier rebuilding.

the only point I agree with. the MOU says funding from inside the park. The Jehovah witness buildings coming on the Tax rolls is not a rezoning. Its just removing an exemption that is required by law. J-51 on any new building will mean that additional real estate revenues are years in the future while ground lease payments come in immediately.

exactly what other revenue producers are you talking about? A Marina? produces no revenue unless you allow for repairs and maintenance where most marinas make money...what store or other entity except another hotel will bring anything near what residential will eventually.
I am willing to compromise(smaller buildings) are you?

I also proposed that the pier piling maintenance be made part of capital improvements and not charged against yearly unless you have a way to generate enough money where are you proposals from within the park?
Sept. 15, 2010, 2:09 pm
Sweep Out Millman from Park Slope says:
How are these incumbents getting re-elected, when the state of this state is appalling? These avalanche victories in the Democratic Primaries are going to be severely curtailed in the general elections. I'm a progressive independent with no part affiliation and Joan Millman can bet that shewon't get my vote - nor my partner - nor my neighbors - nor my work colleagues in the area. She is the very face of the entrenched politician living like a welfare mother on the state's dime.
Sept. 15, 2010, 2:22 pm
Curious from Carroll Gardens says:
Don't kid yourself, Sweep Out Millman.
Sept. 15, 2010, 3:29 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Sweep -- this is Brooklyn, the Democratic primary was the election. If you don't vote in the primary you are not in the process.
Sept. 15, 2010, 3:49 pm
Edwin Newman Wannabe from Brooklyn says:
"...effectively ending a long squabble between SHE and Biviano..." Where's the editor? Politicians should know how to politic and writers should know how to write!
Sept. 15, 2010, 6:58 pm
Moshe Aron Kestenbaum from Williamsburg ODA says:
How about a marina? That will offer boat Rentals, Boat Cruises, Boat Shuttles, Sight-Seeing Tours, Inshore and Offshore Fishing, Yacht Charters, Taslich services and More! A real river front income prouducer that will cover the upkeep of the park.
Sept. 16, 2010, 11:53 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Moshe- a Marina makes no money for the city and takes up lots of space. I have no problem with a dock being using as you describe but its a part year thing that makes little money for the owner. In Manhattan even Circle line hardly pays for the dock. The City makes more money from the parking there.
A marina only produces money when it does repairs and maintenance. You want that smell coming from the repair facility and it takes a lot of space to do so.
BTW who pays for the "park" along the Hudson River and everything else there(like the cruise terminals and the Intrepid?) the housing in Battery Park City....its where the City got a 100 million dollars to redo the Intrepid's pier.
Sept. 16, 2010, 1:08 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Boat cruise sightseeing tours etc require bus parking and parking in general....even in Manhattan Circle line has a parking lot.
Sept. 16, 2010, 3:42 pm

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