The dust finally settled last night after one of the most bruising Hudson Valley primary contests in recent memory and voters in Ulster and Dutchess County will be practicing pronouncing the last name of Sarahana Shrestha, the Nepalese born graphic designer and environmental activist, who emerged as the victor, to represent the Democratic party line for the 103rd district in the New York State Assembly.
Unofficial results have Shrestha defeating incumbent Democratic assemblyman Kevin Cahill by a count of 7702 to 7173. According to Ulster County Elections Commissioner Ashley Dittus, early voting totals are included and there are only 123 ballots to left to count. “There really isn’t any way in a realistic sense for this race to change,” said Dittus, shortly after 11 p.m. primary night.
The Democratic Socialists of America-backed Shrestha gave the incumbent a run for his money, with both candidates raising over a quarter of a million dollars. That Shrestha could keep up at all with Cahill’s campaign fundraising machine was surprising given that the newly elected Democratic party candidate didn’t raise a single dollar from corporations or political action committees.
In the end, name recognition, ample funding and an old fashioned flesh-pressing style of politics wasn’t enough to keep the well-liked assemblyman his seat at the table of state power up in Albany.
Clinching the Democratic nomination clears a major hurdle in Shrestha’s path to the State Assembly. Unless skittish establishment democrats wary of a leftwards drift in the party throw in their lot with the Republican candidate Patrick Sheehan, Shrestha’s ascendance appears certain.
And the detritus of any spirited election cycle, the snowfall of mailers and postcards that arrive via the mailbox are all that remain.
Hochul, Delgado cruise to easy wins
After dispatching two challengers to hold onto the statewide Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Kathy Hochul may very well be the first female Governor to be elected in the history of the Empire State.
The three-way primary contest played out June 28, with Governor Hochul being called the winner a mere hour after the polls closed at 9 p.m. over her opponents New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi.
Current Lieutenant Governor and rising Democratic political star Antonio Delgado handily defeated primary challengers Ana Maria Archila and Diana Reyna to solidify his position at Governor Kathy Hochul’s running mate going into the November election.
Both Hochul and Delgado were above the 60% mark as their races were called shortly after 10 p.m.
Long Islander Lee Zeldin emerged victorious from a four-way Republican primary contest, defeating former gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, Andrew Giuliani and Harry Wilson. He’ll face Hochul for the state’s top office in November.