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Council Incumbent Carlos Menchaca Defeats Rivals For Party Nomination

By Caroline Spivack | September 13, 2017 10:43am
 Carlos Menchaca was the first openly LGBT Mexican-American to run for City Council.
Carlos Menchaca was the first openly LGBT Mexican-American to run for City Council.
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Dan Morris

SUNSET PARK — In a heated race with five Democratic challengers, incumbent Carlos Menchaca staved off his rivals in Tuesday's Democratic primary to earn his party's nomination.

Menchaca earned 49 percent of more than 8,400 votes in the District 38 primary, according to New York Board of Elections data.

The polling results capped a hotly contested race that included the district's Assemblyman, Felix Ortiz; the former councilwoman who was unseated by Menchaca in 2013, Sara Gonzalez; and Delvis Valdes, a real estate lawyer who pledged to reform NYCHA but who has a checkered track record of his own as a landlord.

"I’m really happy and just so delighted that so many people came out from every corner of the district," Menchaca told DNAinfo New York on Wednesday. “We’re ending what became a really tense campaign season with a lot of tensions and challenging moments and we’re able to close the chapter and get back to work.”

If he beats Green Party candidate Carmen Hulburt in the Nov. 7 general election, Menchaca said he hopes to maintain his "drum beat" on school construction in the area's overcrowded school district, continue advocating for the rights of immigrants, improving transportation across the district, and building post-Sandy protections from flooding and climate change.

"There's a lot, but last night was an affirmation of the work that we have been doing," said Menchaca.

Ortiz took in more than 2,700 ballots to earn 33 percent of the vote, while lawyer and political newcomer Chris Miao managed to earn 763 votes or 9 percent, over Gonzalez who raked in 507 votes or 6 percent. Delvis Valdes earned 285 ballots for 3 percent of the vote.

Menchaca viewed the primary results at Tacos Matamoros in Sunset Park where he surfed on a crowd of his constituents when it became clear that he won. Later he celebrated the win at Red Hook's Hometown Bar-B-Que, where he said he chowed down on a victory plate of beef ribs.