Kevin Riley, a district leader and aide to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, has declared victory in the special election for an open City Council seat in the Bronx.
Riley was endorsed not just by Heastie but several Democratic Bronx elected officials. He also was backed by several labor unions.
The special election was held to fill the seat vacated by Andy King, who was ousted from the council in October for alleged ethics violations.
“It was a very trying life that I had growing up, so being that I’m able to serve the community that raised me, I feel overwhelmed, I feel overjoyed, I’m so eager to work,” Riley told NY1 late Tuesday.
Early returns show Riley with a lead in in-person votes nearly as large as the number of absentee ballots sent out in District 12, meaning that the second runner-up would need to win most of the paper ballots to make up for the margin.
The special election held just before the holidays was a very low-turnout race. Only about 6,200 people voted in person, though more than 95,000 were eligible.
Riley faced off against community organizer Pamela Hamilton-Johnson and public defender Neville Mitchell.