New Reformers Have Successful First Election Year

The New Reformers announced Thursday that more than half of their candidates in the June Democratic primary won their races. 

The local reform-oriented group backed candidates for 26 different district leader, judicial delegate and state committee races in the June election. Fourteen candidates won.

“We’re honored to announce that a *majority* of our candidates have won,” the group tweeted

The June primaries were the first election effort by the group, which was founded in 2019 with the goal of reforming the Queens County Democratic Party from within by electing people into lower level unpaid party seats. 

Many of their candidates ran against current and former politicians and longstanding holders of the officers. 

The winners included Zachariah Boyer, who will be Assembly District 36 Part B’s first openly-queer district leader, and Emilia Decaudin, who will be a district leader for Assembly District 37 Part A and one of the first openly-transgender district leaders in New York City. 

“Our community is one of the fastest growing progressive constituencies in New York City, and it’s about time that we have party representatives that reflect those progressive values,” said Decaudin. 

Prior to the absentee ballot count, which included an unprecedented number of absentee ballots because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Reformers were leading in about half of the races. However, the absentee voting didn’t always go in their favor. 

In a tight race for district leader seats in Assembly District 28 Part A, which had the New Reformer candidates in the lead after the unofficial count of early and in-person ballots, the new guard and the old guard split the difference.

New Reformer candidates Maria Kaufer and Ethan Felder were winning against long time incumbents City Councilmember Karen Koslowitz and her director of communications, Michael Cohen

When it came down to the final absentee ballot count, Kaufer lost to Koslowitz by more than 100 votes, the New Reformers said. Only Felder held his own. 

But, after complications around absentee voting, they are still holding out hope for Kaufer. 

“A lawsuit seeking to validate absentee ballots invalidated due to postmark issues leaves open the possibility of a win,” they tweeted. 

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