By Larry Gordon
With no definitive winner in the special election held on Tuesday that featured Far Rockaway resident Pesach Osina against six other candidates, the waiting now begins. The race was for a New York City Council seat that was vacated by James Sanders Jr., who won a State Senate seat in November.
With 100% of the in-person votes counted, Osina is trailing Donovan Richards, a former Sanders aide, by just 26 votes. And the lessons in this democratic exercise are legion. According to Richard Altabe of the Far Rockaway Jewish Alliance, hundreds of local Jewish community residents eligible to vote simply did not do so. Had they made the effort to vote, obviously Mr. Osina would have won handily.
According to the area’s State Assemblyman, Phil Goldfeder, an important statement was made by the community by turning out over 2,500 voters in a special election on a cold February day. “I believe we will ultimately prevail, but for now the political establishment will have to take note of the political interest and involvement of this community,” he said on Wednesday morning.
Over the next two or so weeks, over 500 absentee ballots will have to be counted by the board of elections, and that will determine the winner. Mr. Altabe believes that most of those ballots still to be counted emanate from the Far Rockaway Jewish community. v