What to know about Tuesday’s hottest Congressional and state Senate primary races

A voter at the School for Visual Arts in Manhattan on Primary Day, June 28, 2022.
Photo by Dean Moses/amNY File

On Tuesday New Yorkers will venture to the polls for the second primary election this year, this time to cast their ballots for Congress and state Senate.

The primary was split between Tuesday’s election and an earlier June contest for Assembly and state-wide offices following a messy redistricting process that saw the first round of new lines drawn by the Democrat-controlled state legislature tossed by New York’s highest court and replaced with new maps conceived by an independent map-maker.

Early voting lasted over the past week and wrapped Sunday, with a total of 76,335 ballots cast. That number is down from the June primary’s meager early voting turnout, which was just under 90,000 votes. 

Those who didn’t get a chance to vote early can vote on Election Day Tuesday any time from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Voters who don’t know their polling sites can find the locations on the city Board of Elections (BOE) website.

A couple of high profile Congressional races have drawn the lion’s share of media attention since the new maps were revealed in late May. These include the crowded battle royale to represent the new 10th Congressional District that covers much of lower Manhattan below 14th Street and patches of Brooklyn including Park Slope and Sunset Park. 

The packed contest for the open seat includes several current and former elected officials like U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Rockland, Westchester Counties), City Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan), Assembly Members Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) and Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn), former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman and lead counsel in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment Dan Goldman. Ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio was also once in contention for the seat but dropped out last month due to poor polling.

Rivera, Niou and Goldman have all consistently led the pack in terms of polling and endorsements. Rivera has the backing of U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) – who’s current District 7 covers much of District 10, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and powerful labor unions like 1199SEIU. Niou has captured the left-lane with support from the New York Working Families Party (NYWFP) and city Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. While Goldman won the coveted New York Times Editorial Board endorsement, something that’s likely to give Goldman an edge in a district with many NYTimes subscribers.

During the final weeks of the race, attacks have flown back-and-forth between the leading candidates over their campaign finance, connections to the district and their support of local affordable housing developments. Goldman has faced questions over his campaign’s $25 to $50 million line of credit with Goldman Sachs and investment portfolio, which includes Fox News. Goldman also received an “endorsement” from Trump last week, which candidates including Jones and Niou seized on but Goldman casted as a thinly-veiled attempt to hurt his campaign.

Rivera has also gotten criticized for having investments in some of the same companies as Goldman and for taking money from real estate interests with business before the city. And Jones has been hit repeatedly for having few roots in a district he moved to in early June after deciding to run for the open seat instead of his current District 17 just north of the city.

Another closely watched race is the battle for the 12 Congressional District, which has pitted two New York political powerhouses U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) and Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens) against each other. The two 30-year incumbents are also facing a third challenger in attorney Suraj Patel, who’s challenged Maloney in two previous election cycles.

Nadler has hammered Maloney on her past critical positions on vaccines, while Maloney has argued that a woman is the best person to represent the district – that includes both Manhattan’s Upper West and Upper East Sides – in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court throwing out Roe v. Wade. Patel has consistently argued that he’ll bring fresh ideas and much needed generational change to the district.

Hotly contested state Senate races across the five boroughs will also be decided Tuesday. This includes Senate District 33 in the Bronx, where state Senator Gustavo Rivera is a fighting Bronx Democratic Party-backed challenger Miguelina Camilo and the crowded District 59 race in Queens, where former City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) backed Kristen Gonzalez are vying for the open seat.