Wednesday, September 13, 2006

GL Primary Conclusions: Good Day for Atlantic Yards

Primary day was not a terribly good one for opponents of the Atlantic Yards mega-development, although it would be a mistake to read too much into the results. The most vocal anti-project candidate, Bill Batson came in a distant second in the race for the 57th Assembly District . The race was won by Hakeem Jeffries, with 64 percent of the vote to Batson's 25 percent. In the contentious 25th Senate District, challenger Ken Diamondstone, who has been a vocal opponent of Atlantic Yards, lost to incumbent State Sen. Martin Connor.

The big news of the night, of course, was the victory in the nasty and close 11th Congressional District by Yvette Clarke with 31 percent of the vote over David Yassky, Carl Andrews and Chris Owens. Mr. Owens, another Atlantic Yards opponent, came in fourth. In the 10th Congressional District, Atlantic Yards opponent Charles Barron made more of a showing, but still lost to incumbent Edolphus Towns by about ten points.

The one silver lining yesterday for project opponents was the big victory of State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (pictured here) who easily beat back a challenge in the 18th District from a Ratner-aligned (some would say Ratner-sponsored) candidate, Tracy Boyland. Another more-or-less Atlantic Yards opponent, Eric Adams, won handily in the 20th State Senate District. (All of the primary results can be found here.)

What messages does the primary send? It's hard to draw any conclusions from the Congressional races, which were dominated by their own issues. In terms of Mr. Batson's defeat, one can argue that poorly-funded grassroots candidates rarely fare well against candidates with more money and mainstream support. Yet, it would seem that, at least in terms of the Primary, large numbers of people did not turn out to vote based on their opposition to Atlantic Yards.

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