VOTE 2022: Pair of progressive Hudson Valley Democrats pull off major upsets in state Assembly primary

A pair of progressive Democrats in the Hudson Valley pulled off major upsets in Tuesday night's state Assembly primary elections.

Jonathan Gordon

Jun 30, 2022, 12:07 AM

Updated 689 days ago


A pair of progressive Democrats in the Hudson Valley pulled off major upsets in Tuesday night's state Assembly primary elections.
Westchester Legislator MaryJane Shimsky defeated six-term incumbent Thomas Abinanti in the 92nd state Assembly district primary and activist Sarahana Shrestha defeated 26-year incumbent Kevin Cahill in the 103rd state Assembly district primary.
Both were backed by the progressive Working Families Party, while Shrestha also had the support of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Sochie Nnaemeka, director of the New York Working Families Party released a statement following Shrestha's victory saying in part, "our party worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the campaign to contact voters and elevate the critical issues in this race. We’re looking forward to partnering with Sarahana to invest in real climate protections, lower housing costs, and win guaranteed health care for all.”
Several prominent Democrats had backed both incumbents including Gov. Kathy Hochul, Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado, and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for Cahill as well as state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, and several state Assembly members for Abinanti.
Cahill congratulated Shrestha on her victory on Facebook, writing in part, "[I] wish her great success and hope that the people of our community welcome her with the same enthusiasm and confidence you invested in me."
Abinanti released a statement saying, "I thank all who participated in yesterday's primary election and those who worked on my behalf.
I am proud that I ran a positive campaign on my record of delivering for the people of the 92nd District. I look forward to continuing to work for the people of  the state of New York for the remainder of the year.   
Two other primaries were held for Hudson Valley assembly races.
Ossining Supervisor Dana Levenberg won a three-way Democratic primary in the race to fill retiring Assemblywoman Sandy Galef's seat in the 95th District. Levenberg beat former Peekskill Common Councilmember Vanessa Agudelo and two-term Westchester Legislator Colin Smith. Agudelo will be on the ballot in November on the Working Families line.
Teacher Brandon Craig Gaylord defeated small business owner Dean Michael in the Republican primary race for the 106th Assembly District.
Gaylord will face longtime Democratic Assemblywoman Didi Barrett in November. Michael had made his second bid to face Barrett in this district after losing to her in the 2020 general election.

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