Lander declares victory in tight Comptroller Race

After counting ranked choice voting and mail-in ballots, Brooklyn Councilmember Brad Lander finally declared victory in the Democratic primary for New York City Comptroller. The Republican Party is not nominating anyone for the position, and will almost certainly win the general election in the fall.

Lander earned 51.9 percent of votes, giving him a narrow advantage over his opponent, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who received an impressive 48.1 percent himself. Although some ballots still need to be ‘cured’ (a process by which voters can fix improperly completed ballots) before the Board of Elections certifies the victory, Johnson has already conceded from the race.

“Today, after seeing the numbers released by the Board of Elections, it’s clear that the right thing to do is to suspend my campaign for Comptroller,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement. “This was a hard-fought campaign and I congratulate Brad Lander on his victory.”

Originally Johnson planned on running for Mayor, but switched to the comptroller’s race last fall. Despite his defeat in the election, Johnson celebrated the passing of the City Budget last week. The $98.7 billion budget is the largest in the City’s history, roughly 12 percent higher than last year’s leaner, pandemic-influenced budget of $88.2 billion.

Lander celebrated the news with a statement on Twitter.

“Thank you NYC! I promise to work hard every single day to help our city recover from the pandemic more just, more equal, and better prepared for future crises than we were for this one,” Lander wrote. “I am honored to be the Democratic nominee for New York City Comptroller.”

The comptrollership oversees the accounting and financial procedures of the City, a critical watchdog position in the City government. Lander will be taking the place of current comptroller and failed mayoral candidate Scott Stringer.

Lander was considered to be the most left-leaning candidate in the race, marking his victory as a major accomplishment for New York City’s progressive movement. During his campaign, Lander received major endorsements from the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren.

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