In 2017, Christopher Marte came just 222 votes short of knocking off incumbent Council Member Margaret Chin in a District 1 Democratic primary. Four years later, with a term-limited Chin, Marte was once again battling candidates with major establishment backing, but Tuesday’s preliminary results show that this time around he looks likely to prevail.
Marte, a lifelong resident of the district, carried 40.2 percent of the vote after first-choice ballots cast on Tuesday and during the nine days of early voting were counted, according to NY1. The two candidates who had the most establishment backing – Gigi Li (Chin’s chief of staff who was endorsed by Andrew Yang) and Jenny Low (who worked in Speaker Corey Johnson’s office) – trailed Marte by significant margins, with 15.8 and 17.5 percent of the vote, respectively.
Though the results are far but final – with absentee ballots yet to be counted and voters’ ranked choice votes still to be tabulated – Marte celebrated with staff and supporters Tuesday night, as the 4,720-vote lead he holds will be incredibly difficult to overcome.
“Our nearest competitor is at 17 percent. I don’t know math like Andrew Yang, but I think we’ve got this one,” Marte said before a boisterous crowd at his primary night festivities on Canal Street. “We took on an eight-year incumbent and fell short by one percent. Four years after that moment, we took on billionaires, we took on the political establishment, and today we took on the whole Yang gang – and won.”
Marte contributed his anticipated success to a broad coalition he was able to build in the last four years after his loss, organizing across the district and running on what he called a “common idea of the neighborhood.” He hopes his victory will mark an end to the perceived barriers of the district’s distinct neighborhoods – such as Chinatown, FiDi, Little Italy and SoHo – and bring together the district as a singular community.
“We’re done with those barriers,” he said.
“This is My Home”
Li and Low and both put out statements following the results in which neither candidate acknowledged her respective positions in the race, but did hint that the final result would not be in her favor.
“We won’t know the official results of this race until all absentee ballots have been counted and ranked choice tabulations have taken place,” Li said in a tweet Thursday. “What I know for certain is that this is my home. I’ve spent over 15 years fighting for Lower Manhattan — whatever comes next, I will continue to work alongside every one of you to make this a community that supports us all!”
Likewise, Low thanked her team and voters for their support over the course of the campaign.
“It’s been an honor to speak to voters across the district on critical issues facing our community. I’m super proud of our work,” Low said in a tweet. “A s we look forward to every vote being counted in the days ahead, I am so grateful to everyone on #TeamJenny!”
The city does not expect to have final certified results until mid-July.
“Our nearest competitor is at 17 percent. I don’t know math like Andrew Yang, but I think we’ve got this one.” Christopher Marte