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Bill Perkins Wins Democratic Primary for Harlem City Council Seat

By Gustavo Solis | September 13, 2017 10:54am
 Bill Perkins got 6,897 of the nearly 14 thousand votes cast in Tuesday's primary, early numbers show.
Bill Perkins got 6,897 of the nearly 14 thousand votes cast in Tuesday's primary, early numbers show.
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DNAinfo/Shaye Weaver

HARLEM — Bill Perkins survived a crowded field and low voter turnout to win Tuesday’s Democratic primary for city council.

Perkins, who served in the state senate for 10 years before winning a special election for city council in February, secured more than twice as many votes as his next closest challenger, according to unofficial count of 92 percent of the scanners from Tuesday’s election.

Of the 13,999 votes counted as of midnight, Perkins has 6,897 of them. That is enough to give him 49 percent of the votes. Marvin Holland’s 2,811 votes were enough for 20 percent.

There are more than 87,000 active Democrats enrolled in the city council district, according to the Board of Elections. Compared to that number, Perkins secured 7 percent of the vote to win the Democratic primary. 

READ MORE: Bill Perkins to Harlem Voters: 'If It Works, Don't Fix It'

Although he won the Democratic primary, Perkins still faces three challengers in November's general election.

The Republican candidate is Jack Royster, a lifelong Harlem resident who has "seen firsthand what drugs, poverty and the lack of employment, opportunities, and resources can do to a community," according to his Facebook page.

Reform party candidate, Pierre Gooding, is a former middle-school teacher and attorney with a degree from University of Pennsylvania who wants to tackle Harlem's unemployment rate, according to Ballotpedia.

The Liberal Party candidate is Tyson-Lord Gray, a Navy veteran, Harlem resident, and professor at Pace University who has a master's degree in divinity from Morehouse University, a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, and a law degree from Pace University. 

Gray is a Democrat who got lost to Perkins in the primary by getting less than 9 percent of the vote. He was endorsed by the Liberal Party in July and will be on the November ballot.