Two empty City Council seats in the Bronx will have to stay empty a while longer.
Tuesday’s special elections in Council Districts 11 and 15 yielded no clear outcome, with no candidate winning a majority of the vote in either race. That means the winners will be determined by ranked-choice voting, a new system that took effect in city elections for the first earlier this year.
But the ranked-choice tabulation can’t take place until April 7 at the earliest, after all absentee and military ballots are returned. The process will be conducted by hand, because tabulation software has not yet been approved by the state board of elections.
In-person turnout in District 15 was extremely low, with only 3,431 votes reported as of Tuesday night. District 11 turnout was higher, with 6,994 votes.
Eric Dinowitz came closest to outright victory, winning more than 42% of the vote in District 11, which covers the northwest Bronx. Dinowitz, the son of state Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, had the most institutional backing in the race.
But Mino Lora and Jessica Haller, who are currently in second and third place with 25% and 15% of the vote, respectively, encouraged supporters to make the other candidate their second choice. The alliance was meant to boost the chance of a woman winning the seat; Lora and Haller were the only female candidates in the field.
If voters complied, that could create a scenario where Lora absorbs all of Haller’s votes, putting her over 40% and within striking distance of Dinowitz.
In District 15, tenant lawyer Oswald Feliz finished election night in the lead with more than 28% of the vote. Ischia Bravo was in second place with 22%, and John Sanchez was in third with 20%.
Elisa Crespo, who with a victory would become the city’s first transgender lawmaker, landed in fourth place with 15%.
They were among a field of 10 candidates seeking to replace Ritchie Torres, who was elected to Congress in November, leaving the Council seat vacant since January.
The District 11 seat has also been empty since January, following Andrew Cohen's election to a state judgeship.