Video: Chin beats Rajkumar, taking nearly 60 percent of the vote

By JOSH ROGERS & KAITLYN MEADE  |  Councilmember Margaret Chin handily won Tuesday’s primary election for Council District 1, beating Jenifer Rajkumar with 58.5 percent of the vote.

Chin told a cheering crowd in Chinatown that she looked forward to “building new schools. We’re going to start building more affordable housing,” she added, “starting with the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who stood with her on stage, said, “Thank you for giving me someone I can work with again at City Hall, that we can continue to be the dynamic duo that we’ve been.”

A few blocks from Chin’s Chatham Square Restaurant victory party, Rajkumar conceded defeat.

She said she would “absolutely” support Chin in the general election. The councilmember’s re-election to a second term is now considered a foregone conclusion in the overwhelmingly Democratic Council district.

Tuesday’s returns will not be certified until next week, but the count for Chin now stands at 8,303 to Rajkumar’s 5,891.

Photo by Kaitlyn Meade Margaret Chin celebrated her victory Sept. 10 with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Photo by Kaitlyn Meade
Margaret Chin celebrated her victory Sept. 10 with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Like her election four years ago, Chin won big in Chinatown, but she also won some of the biggest housing complexes elsewhere.

In Southbridge Towers near the South Street Seaport, she won 329 to 270, according to the initial machine-vote tally.

“She’s always around and she seems hard-working and sincere,” Stacey Shub, a young Southbridge mother, said of Chin.

District Leader John Scott, an Independence Plaza tenant leader and a strong Chin supporter, said Chin won the Tribeca complex by about 20 votes.

Rajkumar appeared to do best in the Village and Soho, where residents were upset with Chin on a number of issues, including her support for New York University expansion and a new business improvement district for Soho along Broadway.

Chin voters tended to cite her experience, while Rajkumar’s support came from people who thought Chin is too close to developers.

“Well, she’s not associated with the real estate industry like Margaret Chin,” said Nancy Todd, a senior citizen who moved into the neighborhood now known as Tribeca more than three decades ago.

Chin was helped by funding from a real estate-funded PAC, which was one of Rajkumar’s chief criticisms.

“We waged a formidable challenge against a multimillion-dollar PAC,” Rajkumar said after her concession.

Rajkumar said Wednesday she won her re-election bid to continue to be a Democratic district leader in Battery Park City and other parts of Lower Manhattan, beating Robin Forst 1,484 to 883.

She had said Tuesday that if she prevailed she wanted to work with Chin. However, Chin has previously said she has had zero working relationship with Rajkumar to date.

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