All votes are current as of 10:21 p.m., June 28.
ITHACA, N.Y.—Ithaca’s Fourth Ward, which represents Collegetown and was the subject of a contentious campaign over the last several weeks, has been won by progressive challenger Tiffany Kumar, besting incumbent Patrick Mehler. Kumar moves on as the Democratic nominee for the Fourth Ward Common Council seat in the November general election.
Turnout on Election Day was paltry: 107 votes were cast in full in the Collegetown primary, with Kumar collecting 47 to Mehler’s 15 on Primary Day, calculating out to a 76% to 24% margin, according to the posted results from the Tompkins County Board of Elections. In total, Kumar collected 78 to Mehler’s 29 votes for a 73% to 27% victory. Mail-in and absentee ballots have not yet been counted but will likely not change the outcome of the contest. The results are unofficial until they have been certified.
Kumar offered a statement on Twitter after her win.
Additionally, in Tuesday’s primaries, Gov. Kathy Hochul seems poised to easily win the Democratic nomination, with a much closer race for the Republican contest to challenge Hochul in November—Lee Zeldin and Andrew Giuliani are running fairly close statewide as of 10:10 p.m. (Update, 10:36 p.m.: Lee Zeldin has been declared the winner of the Republican nomination by the AP) Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado won the Democratic nomination for the same office (there was no Republican LG primary).
The Fourth Ward campaign came to represent the progressive left versus establishment left tension, with Kumar questioning Mehler’s progressive values and bona fides and attacking him from the left while Mehler collected endorsements from most of his colleagues on Common Council—except Phoebe Brown and Jorge DeFendini, who endorsed Kumar, a fellow Solidarity Slate member. Mehler became the “insider” candidate of sorts, despite only being on Council since his appointment was approved late last year, taking over for Steve Smith.
It’s difficult to draw many conclusions from turnout numbers in these elections, considering the traditionally abysmally low Fourth Ward turnout due to the student population and that midterm elections almost always have lower turnout than general election years overall.
Hochul and Delgado won fairly easily statewide. Both also won handily in Tompkins County, with Delgado collecting about 50 percent of the vote, to 38.6 percent for Ana Maria Archila and 11 percent for Diana Reyna. Hochul won 72 percent of the vote in the county, to 23 percent for Jumaane Williams and just four percent for Tom Suozzi.
Lee Zeldin was victorious in the local Republican primary results, 42.47% of the vote, compared to 24.59 percent for Harry Wilson, 18.28 percent for Rob Astorino and 14.5 percent for Andrew Giuliani.