Ex-Rep. Vito Fossella’s political comeback bid appeared complete Tuesday night as he took the Staten Island borough president’s race — thanking “our great President Donald Trump” for his victory.
The Republican’s win came in the only competitive boroughwide or citywide race as most New Yorkers elected their local mini mayors, comptroller and public advocate with little drama.
Fossella notched about 60% of the vote, compared to 30% for Mark Murphy, the son of ex-Staten Island Congressman John Murphy, according to preliminary figures from the city Board of Elections. Conservative Party candidate Leticia Remauro captured 7.5% of the vote.
“We can’t be thankful enough, and grateful, for the people of Staten Island, to give me this opportunity,” he told his supporters at a victory party at the borough’s Republican headquarters in Mid-Island.
He told the crowd he got a call of congratulations from “our great President Donald Trump,” repeatedly referring to the former commander in chief in the present tense.
“This video is going to go to President Trump! Tell President Trump what Staten Island thinks of what he has done!” he added, to cheers of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” from the audience.
Fossella, a well-known figure in the city’s most conservative borough, served six terms in the House of Representatives. He decided against seeking re-election after a 2008 DUI arrest in Virginia revealed that he had a second family there.
During the Republican Primary in June, Fosella got a boost from a robocall by Trump shortly before his narrow victory over Councilmember Steven Matteo.
Fossella sought support from anti-vaxxers and led an unsuccessful lawsuit against the de Blasio administration’s vaccine requirement for city workers.
He also described school-zone speed cameras as “a money grab for the city,” while working for a company that collects debts for unpaid speed camera tickets, City & State reported.
Fossella struggled to raise campaign cash and did not initially qualify for public matching funds, according to the city Campaign Finance Board.
He was blocked from that infusion of public funds because his campaign filings did not have the required complete financial disclosure documents on file by a city ethics panel, THE CITY reported in September.
Fossella ultimately got $640,000 in matching funds after fixing the paperwork, the Staten Island Advance reported.
Most Democrats Romp
As for the other citywide and boroughwide races, the Democratic primary took much of the suspense out of Tuesday’s contests.
Jumaane Williams, who is reportedly contemplating a run for governor, was overwhelmingly re-elected as public advocate.
He garnered 68.4% of the vote compared to just 22.3% for his Republican challenger, Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil, preliminary Board of Elections results show.
“There’s a lot of work that’s left to do…. I want to make sure that as we recover and we renew that we don’t want to go back to normal. That’s a really important message for me because normal didn’t work,” he said at his victory party at Threes Brewing in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
Brad Lander, a Brooklyn City Council member, cruised to victory as city comptroller. Lander won 69.5% of the vote compared to Republican candidate Daby Benjaminé Carreras, who got 22.6%, BOE records show.
“Job one is recovery,” Lander said at the Threes Brewing party. He’ll replace term-limited Scott Stringer as the city’s chief financial watchdog.
Alvin Bragg, a former federal prosecutor, was elected as Manhattan’s first Black district attorney — and will take over a probe into Trump.
He’ll replace Cy Vance Jr., who did not seek re-election following a torrent of criticism over his handling of several high-profile cases. Bragg got 83.2% of the vote, compared to Republican candidate Thomas Kenniff’s 16.6%.
Bragg ran against paring back the state’s bail reform laws and urged lawmakers to make it easier for older prisoners to obtain parole.
“Folks say, ‘What does it feel like to be the first Black district attorney?’” Bragg said during his victory party at Harlem Tavern.
He told the crowd his son was worried about wearing a face mask at the outset of the pandemic because he was concerned cops would think he was a robber.
“To sit here two and a half years later, for that young man, to know that his father is in charge” of decision making at the Manhattan DA, Bragg added to roars from the crowd.
Primary Holds for Most Beeps
In other borough president races, according to the BOE’s preliminary in-person counts:
- Brooklyn Democrat Antonio Reynoso handily defeated his Republican opponent, Menachem Raitport. Reynoso got 73.8% of the vote compared to Raitport’s 19.6%. Reynoso will replace term-limited Eric Adams, who was elected mayor Tuesday.
- Manhattan Democrat Mark Levine cruised to victory with 84.5% of votes compared to Republican Louis Puliafito’s 13.3%. He’ll replace term-limited Gale Brewer, who appeared headed back to the City Council.
- Bronx Democrat Vanessa Gibson won election victory notching 79.4% of the vote compared to Republican Janelle King’s 13.7%. Gibson, who will become the first Black woman to lead the borough, will replace term-limited Ruben Diaz Jr.
- Queens Democrat Donovan Richards, who won a tightly contested Democratic primary after a special election victory last year, notched 65% of the vote, compared to Republican Thomas Zmich who got 30.6%.