June 23, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Julie Won and Amit Bagga are neck and neck in the city’s most crowded council race in western Queens, early election results show.
Won and Bagga have broken out from the rest of the 15-candidate field in the District 26 race and are less than one percentage point apart.
Won, a tech consultant and Queens Community Board 2 member, is leading with 18.47 percent of in-person votes. Bagga, former deputy director of the city’s 2020 census campaign, follows behind with 17.65 percent of in-person votes, according to unofficial Election Night results.
Brent O’Leary is in third with 9.97 percent of in-person votes and the remaining candidates each earned lower single-digit percentages, with 96.77 percent of scanners reported.
The candidates are vying to represent the Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside neighborhoods and take the seat occupied by term-limited Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
The percentages are only based on voters’ first-choice picks and do not include absentee and affidavit ballots.
Neither Won or Bagga earned more than 50 percent of the first-choice votes, so the city’s new ranked-choice voting system will be used to determine the winner.
The candidate with the least amount of first-choice votes — Sultan Al Maruf in this case — will be eliminated and people who chose him for their top choice will have their second choice counted. This process will continue until one candidate receives a majority of votes or more than 50 percent.
The election could go either way — to Won or Bagga — depending on who voters ranked as their second, third, fourth and fifth picks.
District residents will likely not know the official winner of D-26 race for weeks.
The Board of Elections (BOE) will release the results of the ranked choice tabulation in one week — on Tuesday, June 29 — based on in-person votes. The board will continue to update the results each week as absentee ballots come in until it certifies the results.
The BOE, however, is not expected to certify the results for the elections until the week of July 12 or later to allow time for absentee ballots to come in.
The winner of the primary election will move on to compete in the November general election against Republican Marvin Jeffcoat.