Special Election to Replace Richards Announced

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City Councilmember Donovan Richards speaks at a pro immigration rally. Contributed photo.

Get ready, District 31. It’s time to exercise your civic duty –– again. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the date for the special election to choose Queens Borough President and former City Councilmember Donovan Richards’s successor. The special election for the vacant New York City Council District 31 (Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens) seat will be held on February 23 of next year, a press release from the mayor’s office announced on Friday. 

“I am declaring Tuesday, February 23, 2021 as the date for the 31st City Council District special election to elect a Council Member to serve until December 31, 2021. This date, within the window allowed by the City Charter, will give residents the chance to make thoughtful and informed decisions about their representation,” de Blasio said in the release. “Eligible Queens voters can participate with early voting, in-person voting, or by returning an absentee ballot, and I encourage everyone to make their voices heard in this special election.”

The special election was triggered when Richards vacated the seat to take the office of Queens Borough President last week. 

The candidate who wins in February will finish out the remainder of Richards’s term. They will have to run again in the June primary and the November general election to continue representing the district. 

According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board, Selvena Brooks-Powers, Monique Charlton, Latanya Collins, Franck Joseph, Nicole Lee, Nancy Martinez, Perri Pierre, Latoya Benjamin, Shawn Rux, and Manuel Silva have registered as running in the June 2021 primary and could run in the special election in February. 

The special election for District 31 will be the second held in Queens in the new year. On February 2, residents in District 24 (Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica) will be choosing who will finish out former City Councilmember Rory Lancman’s term from a large pool of candidates.