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Queens Council Seat Race Begins With Nail-Biting Democratic Primary To Challenge Vickie Paladino

In the highly anticipated Democratic primary race for the Queens council seat, former State Sen. Tony Avella finds himself in a nail-biter contest against incumbent Councilwoman Vickie Paladino. As the partial results from the Board of Elections show, Avella is holding on to a razor-thin lead with 39% of the first-round vote, while challenger Christopher Bae, a former Queens prosecutor and first-generation Korean American, trails closely behind with 37%. Urban planner Paul Graziano secured 24% of the votes, making the race even more competitive.

A close race with uncertain outcome
Image source : New York Post

A Close Race With Uncertain Outcome

With just 99% of the scanners counted, it’s clear that the outcome of the primary election is far from decided. The introduction of the ranked choice voting system in New York City adds an element of suspense, as voters who backed Graziano may have selected Avella or Bae as their second or third choice. The final results are eagerly awaited, as Avella and Bae vie for the opportunity to challenge Paladino in the general election.

Paladino’s Previous Victory and Republican Inroads

Paladino’s victory over Avella in 2021 highlighted the Republican Party’s progress in certain outer-borough neighborhoods. This success was attributed to concerns over post-pandemic crime rates and a contentious proposal to eliminate test-based admissions to selective public high schools.

However, Democrats are determined to regain ground in November, viewing the homeowner-rich district as a potential win. Paladino’s controversies and divisive statements have made her vulnerable in the eyes of many constituents.

Controversial Actions and Statements

As per New York Post , Paladino’s tenure in the City Council has been marked by controversy and a series of questionable decisions. Her refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19, despite the existing policies, raised eyebrows

and invited criticism. This defiance occurred at a time when vaccination was required to enter the Council’s chamber, further fueling the debate surrounding public health measures.

Furthermore, Paladino’s outspoken views on drag queens and city-funded programs that involve these performers reading to children have sparked outrage and intensified the controversy surrounding her. She has referred to cross-dressing as “degeneracy” and accused the programs of “grooming” children, using a

term commonly associated with how sex offenders manipulate their victims. The issue of drag queens reading to children has become a polarizing topic, with proponents emphasizing the entertainment and educational value, while critics argue against what they perceive as inappropriate content for young audiences.

Understanding the Context

It is crucial to recognize that the attacks on drag queens as “groomers” are baseless and reminiscent of baseless charges historically levied against gay men. Such accusations, rooted in prejudice and ignorance,

perpetuate harmful stereotypes and contribute to the marginalization of the LGBTQ+ community. It is essential to approach this issue with sensitivity, informed understanding, and respect for diversity.

The Road Ahead

As the primary election results continue to unfold, the fate of the Queens council seat remains uncertain. The Avella-Bae race has captivated voters and political enthusiasts alike, drawing attention to the significance of every vote cast. Regardless of the outcome, this race underscores the importance of civic engagement and the power of the democratic process.


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