Five-term Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (D-Pleasantville) is in a virtual dead heat in his race with insurgent challenger Jennifer Williams in the 92nd Assembly District after the Westchester Board of Elections updated its results late Wednesday afternoon.
The two candidates in the surprisingly tight race are separated by 25 votes, with Abinanti holding the razor-thin lead (3,320-3,295). Abinanti said he has been told by the Board of Elections that at least 8,000 absentee ballots had been returned as of early this week with more still eligible to come in through June 30. The paper ballots must be postmarked no later than June 23 to be counted.
In explaining the results, Abinanti said many of this year’s Democratic primary voters were simply looking to shake up the system. That held true not only in the congressional races and district attorney’s primary but in the Assembly races as well.
Incumbent Steven Otis in the 91st Assembly District is trailing his challenge, Meg Cameron, by 559 votes.
“A lot of first-time voters who were looking for change weren’t familiar with the candidates and were just voting for change,” he said. “I don’t think they realize that I represent the change and the issues they support because they’re not familiar with my background.”
Williams said she was optimistic and excited for when the absentee ballots will be counted.
“I just think that change is happening now very quickly and I think people want a new voice and transparency,” Williams said. “I think that’s what we’re all looking for and not just in my election but many of the elections that happened. That’s how people voted – a fresh new voice and for change.”
Abinanti expressed confidence that he will be able to gain support through a majority of the absentee ballots. He explained that a larger portion of the paper ballots were likely cast by older voters, which should work to his advantage.
The winner of the primary is virtually assured of victory since there is no Republican challenger in the district, which takes in Pleasantville, Mount Pleasant and Greenburgh. Abinanti will appear on the Working Families line in the general election.
93rd Assembly District Race Too Close to Call
In the five-candidate 93rd Assembly District race, Bedford Supervisor Chris Burdick held a 195-vote lead over Chappaqua lawyer Kristen Browde, 1,842-1,647, with all of the early votes and Tuesday in-person votes counted. They were followed by Jeremiah Frei-Pearson with 1,297, Alex Roithmayr at 511 and Mark Jaffe with 396.
An undetermined number of absentee ballots will start to be counted next week.