Photo Courtesy of the Sullivan Campaign
Republican State Senate candidate Tom Sullivan (r.) enjoys Richmond Hill Park Fair on Saturday with City Councilman Eric Ulrich and his daughter Lily, and Richmond Hill Block Association President Simcha Waisman.
By Michael V. Cusenza
When Primary Day was set for Sept. 13, many thought it odd to schedule an election on a Thursday. Some of the results turned out to be surprising as well.
Breezy Point’s Tom Sullivan crushed Slawomir Platta—68 percent to 32 percent—to nab the GOP nomination for the general election for 15th State Senatorial District seat.
“It was a tremendous victory for us and the Republican Party,” Sullivan said. “I want to thank all of my supporters, volunteers, friends, and family for standing by me on this journey. Let’s build on this momentum going into November.”
Platta told his backers, “It has been a great honor and privilege to have had the chance to run for the position of State Senator for our community. Unfortunately, we fell short in our effort, but I am not deterred. I am so thankful to so many for showing support and placing their trust in me.”
Several long-established elected State officials were sent packing on Thursday, including two bold-faced borough names.
Former City Comptroller John Liu upset incumbent State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the 11th Senatorial District race, while upstart Jessica Ramos soundly defeated incumbent State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) in the 13th District. Both Avella and Peralta were members of the defunct Independent Democratic Conference, a group of Democratic State senators that caucused with the Republican majority.
While the IDC was dissolved in April, all eight former members faced primary challengers on Thursday. Only two survived the political bloodbath.
“Now we have to focus on November. I’m committed to doing what I’ve always said I wanted to accomplish—achieving a working Democratic Majority in the New York State Senate; and just as important, a Democratic Majority in Congress so that we can stand up to this White House,” Peralta said in a statement. “If we want to move New York forward, all Democrats must work together. In that spirit, I will be supporting Ms. Ramos in the general election, and I will assist her in whatever capacity to ensure a smooth transition so that our constituents do not go without the vital services they depend on. Serving this community is in my blood, and I hope to continue to advocate for them. After spending the last 16 years doing that, I’m looking forward to spending some much needed time with my family, who have always been my biggest supporters.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio analyzed Thursday’s results on “Inside City Hall,” on Spectrum News NY 1.
“I think it’s quite clear from what happened earlier in the season in this city and this state and what’s happening now: that progressives have the energy and are drawing out voters and are animating this whole process,” Hizzoner said. “The fact that [voter] turnout doubled is, I think, directly connected. Of course the response to Trump but also the growth of a progressive, activist movement in response to Trump that’s reaching down to the grassroots. Every election is different, and everyone is about the specific candidates and the specific office, but from my point of view it was a very good night for the progressive movement writ large.”