Yuh-Line Niou Clinches Re-Election

Yuh-Line Niou
Assemblywoman and Yuh-Line Niou (right) and 65th Assembly District leader Jenny Low behind her. Photo by Tsubasa Berg

Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (D-Financial District, Chinatown) secured a decisive victory over Grace Lee in last night’s primary.

According to the unofficial numbers, Niou nabbed 56.77 percent of the vote – more than 20 percent higher than Lee’s 35.41 percent margin.

“I’m so proud and incredibly grateful to my hardworking team, countless volunteers, and every New Yorker who cast their ballot in this very unusual and challenging election,” said Niou. “I am proud of our campaign, putting our grassroots support up against a flood of money from Wall Street and the 1%. But more importantly, I’m proud of the work we’ve done for the people of this district and I’m ready to continue fighting for a comprehensive ‘New New Deal’ to help New York recover by addressing our public health crisis, bolstering our social safety net, addressing joblessness and housing, and providing assistance to tenants and small businesses.”

Grace Lee kicked off her campaign by filing $154,000 for the assembly seat – the most funds ever raised by a first-time state assembly candidate in a first filing. Her platform largely revolved around advocacy for small business owners; as a business owner herself, she knew firsthand just how difficult it was to stay afloat when the COVID-19 crisis was at its peak. 

But despite her best efforts, the voters of New York’s 65th Assembly District stuck by the tried-and-true incumbent.

The district’s transition to remote voting was somewhat less than smooth, however. Over the course of the day, Niou’s office heard several complaints from her constituents regarding their absentee ballots; some received the wrong ballot, or never received a ballot at all. Of the 13,407 absentee ballots distributed in her district, only 2,690 were returned.

Compounding the issue was the fact that there were no early voting sites opened in her district.

“It’s unfortunate that the BOE and our transportation systems combined to make voting more difficult, from a lack of mass transit to polls in the early morning; to people who never got their absentee ballot, got the wrong ballot, or received no return envelope; to the fact that there were zero early voting sites in my district,” said Niou.

Niou has said that her top priorities going into her second term will be rejecting the State’s austerity budget and helping New York rebuild its infrastructure in the wake of the pandemic.