NYC Council Race Ends in Cliffhanger, Osina and Richards Declare Victory


pesach-osinaQueens, NY – The District 31 run-off race to fill former City Councilman James Sanders Jr.’s vacated seat end Tuesday night in a cliffhanger.

The race was loaded with candidates with wacky or barely distinguishable party names and connections to current elected officials.

Eight candidates had their name on the ballot for special election.

Sanders was elected to the state Senate in November to replace scandal-torn lawmaker Shirley Huntley.

With no political primary, the candidates were tasked with inventing their own party and adopted cause.

Donovan Richards, Sanders’ former chief of staff, had the support of the outgoing councilman.

The overflowing field of candidates was predominantly African American, except for Pesach Osina, liaison for Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder.

As of Tuesday night, just 26 votes separated Richards and Osina, with 97.37% of precincts reporting.

Counting ended at around midnight, with Richards garnering 2,513 votes and Osina getting 2,487 votes. was told that one memory stick from a ballot scanner was still unread and counting will resume today. Also, over 500 absentee and paper ballots still need to be tabulated.

The close race may end up in court, as did the Storobin-Fidler battle for Brooklyn state Senate

Despite the cliffhanger, both Richards and Osina called the election for themselves.

“I am confident that after all the votes are counted, we will be victorious,” Osina said in a victory speech which can be seen here.

{Andy Newscenter}