DSA-backed Mamdani Unseats Simotas in 36 AD Race

Assemby Member Zohran Mamdani

Zohran Mamdani’s tweet announcing that he’d won the the Democratic primary election for the 36th Assembly District ended with a two word sentence: 

“Socialism won,” he wrote.

Mamdani, the only Democratic Socialists of America endorsed candidate for a Queens office, won the Democratic nomination for the 36th Assembly District by 300 votes after the absentee ballots were counted, according to an unofficial tally by his campaign.  

He displaced longtime Assemblymember Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria), who was elected to the office in 2010. She was the first Greek-American woman to be elected to public office in the state and the first woman to represent her district in the State Assembly. She’s known for her commitment to fighting for the rights of survivors of sexual violence and harassment.

“I wish you the best as you begin your legislative career and fight for the 36th AD,” Simotas wrote in a tweet congratulating Mamdani on his win. 

Mamdani is an Indian-Ugandan housing organizer whose campaign platform promoted taking power away from landlords and corporations and giving it back to tenants and workers. His policies include universal state-wide rent control, turning ConEd and National Grid into state agencies, eliminating cash bail, and ending subsidies for charter schools. 

Mamdani is one of multiple progressive candidates who’ve knocked longstanding Democratic politicians from their offices in this year’s primary election including Brooklyn candidates Emily Gallagher, Jabari Brisport and Phara Souffrant Forrest.

“The socialist lunch table in Albany keeps growing!” tweeted Brisport.

More from Around New York