As Democrats aim to maintain their supermajority in the upper house, Iwen Chu, the first Asian-American woman elected to the state Senate, is moving to Albany.
More than a week after election day, results showed her and Republican Vito Labella in a close contest for a newly created Senate district; the Brooklyn Democrat declared victory.
Chu tweeted this. “I swear to fight for a better New York, one that is safer, cleaner, and family-friendly, and to speak out for all our communities.
I am here to help everyone in SD17 because, first and foremost, we are a community.
Parts of Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Bay Ridge, Kensington, and Dyker Heights are included in the recently created 17th Senate District, which has a majority of Asian Americans.
Chu, who earlier served as Assemblyman Peter Abbate’s (D-Brooklyn) chief of staff, received support from both progressives and traditional Democrats, but she was up against it because Republicans made inroads in southern Brooklyn.
Unofficial results from the city Board of Elections show that LaBella, a retired NYPD lieutenant and co-founder of a parent advocacy group supporting accelerated learning programs, narrowly lost to Chu by a few hundred votes.
This week, absentee ballots are being counted, and election authorities will soon certify the results.
A request for comment from LaBella, who caused controversy during the campaign when a video of him saying he dislikes “f—-ing Brooklyn, I hope I never had to go back,” surfaced, was not immediately returned.
Just a few weeks after Democrats in the Legislature drew up new district borders that the courts would subsequently invalidate, Chu declared her candidacy in February.
Democratic leaders stated last week that they anticipate holding onto at least 40 of the 63 Senate seats, despite the messy redistricting process and Republican wins in the Assembly.
Chu’s victory gives the conference 41 votes, but a supermajority is still conceivable because a race in Syracuse that has not yet been called is headed for a recount.
Sen. John Mannion, a Democrat running for re-election, and Rebecca Shiroff, a Republican, are only separated by a small number of votes in the 50th Senate District.