Brad Lander, a member of the City Council from Brooklyn, declared victory on Tuesday evening over Corey Johnson, the council’s speaker, in the Democratic primary for New York City comptroller. Mr. Lander led Mr. Johnson by 24,683 votes, according to data released by the Board of Elections.
That margin of victory appears to be more than the number of ballots remaining to be counted and ranked under the city’s new ranked-choice-voting system.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, Mr. Lander said he wanted to work to build “a city that is more just, more equal, and more prepared for the future.”
Mr. Lander has pledged to be more of an activist comptroller and said he would use the power of the office to fight climate change and other problems. His win is seen as a major victory for the city’s progressive movement and means that Eric Adams, who won the Democratic primary for mayor, will have to contend with both a comptroller and a City Council who are further to the left than him on many issues, including policing and urban development.
Mr. Landler’s chief rival, Mr. Johnson, conceded.
“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.”
The comptroller serves as the city’s chief financial officer, performing critical audits and monitoring how the mayor and the City Council spend taxpayer money. The comptroller is also the fiduciary for $250 billion in pension funds covering 620,000 people.
New York City just passed a record $99 billion budget that includes at least $14 billion in federal assistance. But the city faces budget gaps in future fiscal years, along with uncertainty about the recovery of the business community.
Mr. Lander united the city’s progressive movement behind his candidacy with endorsements from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez while also gaining national progressive endorsements from the likes of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Mr. Johnson had gained the support of several labor unions. He dropped out of the mayoral contest last September, citing his mental health. A few months later, he joined the comptroller’s race, betting that his name recognition and experience negotiating multiple city budgets would push him to victory.
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