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Chin Maintains Slim Lead in Downtown Council Race That's Too Close to Call

By Allegra Hobbs | September 13, 2017 10:39am
 Councilwoman Margaret Chin is currently leading the race for District 1 by only 200 votes.
Councilwoman Margaret Chin is currently leading the race for District 1 by only 200 votes.
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Margaret Chin and Christopher Marte/Facebook

MANHATTAN — The contentious race for District 1's City Council seat remained too close to call as of Wednesday morning, with two-term incumbent Margaret Chin barely ahead of political newcomer Christopher Marte.

Chin currently has Marte beat by just 200 votes, according to data from the city Board of Elections.

The councilwoman received 5,220 votes, or 45.77 percent of the vote total, to Marte's 5,020 votes, or 44.02 percent, the data shows.

The Board of Elections will not count absentee and provisional ballots until a week after the election to allow time for all the votes to roll in, according to BOE spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez.

Chin's campaign spokesman Paul Leonard said Wednesday morning that her team is "confident that Councilwoman Chin's lead will hold."

However, Marte believes he still has a shot.

"We want to make sure every vote is counted," Marte wrote in an email Wednesday morning. "We want to look into some of the irregularities at a few voting sites. We continue to be grateful for the support from our community."

Marte would not elaborate on the alleged irregularities or which polling sites he was referring to, noting he still had to speak with poll watchers. 

Chin's record has faced an onslaught of criticism from her challengers as she runs for a third term, namely regarding the lack of height protections in the Lower East Side as the waterfront braces for three massive developments to rise within a three-block radius.

Marte has maintained Chin should have more aggressively pushed for the passage of a community-led rezoning plan before the towers were proposed, while the councilwoman has insisted she is attempting to work with the Department of City Planning on a feasible rezoning plan.