November 7, 2012 at 10:18 AM
By Alex Kratz
You may have heard that President Barack Obama won re-election late last night. That wasn’t a huge surprise to Bronx Democrats who supported him. It also won’t surprise you to know that Democrats swept every state election in the Bronx unless you consider that two candidates in the borough — state senators Ruben Diaz Sr. (32nd District) and Jeff Klein (34th District) – ran, and won, on both the Democratic and Republican tickets.
Speaking of the state senate, it appears Democrats have a shot at re-taking a slim majority in that body, though that would also mean wooing the Klein-led quartet of conservative Democrats who make up the Independent Caucus. We may not know the results in a couple of the key races that will determine the senate’s makeup until later this week.
To recap the results here in the northwest Bronx, all of the Democratic candidates for senate and assembly won with more than 90 percent of the vote, except newcomer Mark Gjonaj who hauled in 79 percent of the vote in the 80th Assembly District, which includes parts of Norwood, Bedford Park, Morris Park and Pelham Gardens.
Gjonaj easily beat incumbent Naomi Rivera in the September Democratic primary. Rivera, however, remained on the general election ballot as a Working Families Party candidate. Still, the Democratic ticket in the Bronx trumps all at this point. Rivera received less than 2,000 votes, good for 7.9 percent and less than the GOP candidate Nicole Torres who hauled in 9.1 percent of the vote.
As a result of redistricting, many Bronxites will have new representatives after last night’s results. (Though it won’t technically be official until Jan. 1.) After easily winning last night, Charlie Rangel and the 16th Congressional District is now a part of the political fabric in the northwest Bronx.
Folks in Norwood can now welcome State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (36th District), who takes over the area that was previously part of the 33rd District, which shifted south and east. And Bedford Park residents also have a new representative in Jeff Klein, whose 34th District now rolls from the east Bronx through Bedford Park Boulevard to Riverdale and is bordered by Hassell-Thompson’s 36th District to the north and Gustavo Rivera’s 33rd District to the south.
Got it? Don’t worry, there will not be a test later on.
In any case, we should have more solid, but unofficial, numbers from the Board of Elections later today. We’ll also be crunching some voter turnout numbers. It appeared that turnout was high yesterday. Perhaps higher than the BOE’s polling sites could handle. There were some reports of people turning away from the polls, at the Amalgamated Houses in Van Cortlandt Village for one, after standing line for hours at the end of the night.
How did your voting experience go? Let us know in the comments section. We’ll publish as many as we can in next week’s print edition and online.