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Mark Levine, Ydanis Rodriguez Win Uptown City Council Primaries

By Nigel Chiwaya | September 11, 2013 12:22am | Updated on September 13, 2013 2:56pm
  Levine beats back a crowded field to claim victory in the race for Manhattan's 7th Council District.
Mark Levine wins city council seat
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HAMILTON HEIGHTS — Mark Levine, the uptown Democrat, beat back a crowded field of challengers to claim victory in the primary for Manhattan's 7th District City Council seat.

With 77 percent of ballots counted, Levine captured 37.3 percent of the vote, compared to 17.1 for rival Joyce Johnson and 15.6 percent for Luis Tejada. A total of 10 candidates ran for the seat.

"The voters of this district have given us a resounding victory," Levine told supporters at a victory celebration Tuesday night in Hamilton Heights. "We did it, this is your victory."

Levine, a Democratic district leader for the 72nd Assembly District, lost a City Council race in 2009 and a state Senate race in 2010.

"Mark is a solid, positive guy with two feet on the ground," said Washington Heights resident Andrew Rubinson, who said he has known Levine for almost 18 years. "He has the kind of breadth of experience that you want to see in a local elected official."

With the victory Levine will replace outgoing city Councilman Robert Jackson in the 7th District, which was redrawn to include parts of Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, Morningside Heights and the Upper West Side.

Jackson lost an election for Manhattan Borough president Tuesday night.

Elsewhere in northern Manhattan, incumbent Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez easily won the primary election for the 10th District. Rodriguez, first elected to the seat in 2009, captured 69.3 percent of votes, compared to 22.6 for challenger Cheryl Pahaham and 8.1 percent for Francesca Castellanos Rodriguez.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Mark Levine was running unopposed in November's general election. In fact, Levine will face other candidates, including community activist Christina Gonzalez.