Chin to face Marte again in November

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Primary challenger Marte gets a second chance against incumbent council member due to “a total fluke”


  • Christopher Marte, the runner-up in the Democratic primary for Council District 1, announced his intention to run against incumbent Council Member Margaret Chin in the general election on the Independence Party line at an October 5 rally outside City Hall. Photo: Michael Garofalo

Christopher Marte fell agonizingly short in his insurgent campaign to unseat incumbent City Council Member Margaret Chin in last month’s Democratic primary for the District 1 council seat. Election night results were close enough to necessitate the counting of absentee and affidavit ballots; the final vote count, tallied by hand one week after Primary Day, ended with Chin in the lead by 222 votes — a margin of less than two percentage points. Marte’s surprisingly competitive campaign appeared to have reached its end with his failure to secure the Democratic nomination, but due to a chance outcome in a third-party primary, Marte’s bid will now continue into November.

“We did fall 200 votes short, but we were given a miracle of an opportunity,” Marte said at an October 5 press conference outside City Hall announcing his intention to forge ahead in the general election on the Independence Party line — a nomination he did not intentionally seek, but ended up winning by a single vote.

The Independence Party of New York, a centrist party dedicated to “pragmatic leadership” with roughly half a million registered voters statewide, did not field a candidate for the District 1 council seat, leaving the party’s nomination open in the September 5 primary. Just 12 votes were cast in the primary, all of them write-ins. Marte emerged victorious with five votes. Chin, the next closest finisher, received four.

“It was totally a fluke,” Marte said. “We didn’t know the party line was even open, and I believe many of those people who went to go vote thought they were Democrats, but then realized that they weren’t and just wrote my name in.”

Marte, a Lower East Side native who is seeking public office for the first time, said that he remains a Democrat, but will seek election to the council on the Independence Party line in hopes of building on his showing in the Democratic primary.

Chin is seeking her third term representing the district, which includes much of Lower Manhattan, including the Financial District, Chinatown, and the Lower East Side. Along with Marte, another of Chin’s Democratic primary challengers will also appear on the ballot in the November 7 general election. Aaron Foldenauer, a lawyer who finished third in the Democratic primary with six percent of the vote, will run on the Liberal Party line.

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