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Assemblyman Victor Pichardo squeaks by challenger Hector Ramirez once again after count of paper ballots in 86th Assembly District

Bronx Times
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The Democratic primary in the 86th Assembly District was decided by a razor-thin margin after a count of paper ballots.

A bi-partisan team at the New York City Board of Elections made the results final recently in the race between sitting Assemblyman Victor Pichardo and challenger Hector Ramirez,

The result after all absentee, military, and affidavit paper ballots were counted was Pichardo with 1,888 votes to Ramirez’s 1,886, for a difference of just two votes. An earlier count of primary night results originally showed Ramirez clinging to a 10 vote advantage.

Pichardo said that he is honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve and represent his community in Albany for a full term.

“I am truly humbled to have received the unwavering support of my neighbors - as well as from a great number of elected officials and unions across both the city and the state - during a tough campaign. We worked to ensure that this was a fair and clean election,” said the assemblyman. “I remain committed to working hard to deliver results and to building a better future for the 86th district.”

Pichardo was elected in 2013 and had been in office for less than a year before the primary election.

The assemblyman previously worked for Senator Gustavo Rivera as his director of community affairs for a year and half.

“First of all, I was glad that the process was as thorough as it was,” said Rivera. “I believe that every vote deserves to be counted and counted correctly. The process needed to be observed, and it was, and ultimately Victor was victorious.”

The senator added: “I am absolutely gratified. He is someone I have a great personal relationship with and somebody that I know has a true and real commitment to the community he comes from and that he represents.”

Even though the margin of his victory was small, Rivera said that he expects that Pichardo will double down his efforts to make sure he gains the trust of the people who did not vote for him, because he knows he works for them as well.

Pichardo was elected in 2013 to fill the seat of Assemblyman Nelson Castro, who resigned after revelations emerged that he had been working with authorities to wiretap some allegedly corrupt politicians.

During the 2013 election, Ramirez also lost by a small margin, and photos surfaced of voting machines missing levers that prevented voters to vote for several candidates, including Rivera.

At the time, that and other irregularities caused Ramirez and other candidates to call for a new election.

Ramirez did not return two phone calls requesting comment on the recent developments.

The 86th Assembly District covers parts of Fordham, as well as University Heights and Mount Hope.

Posted 12:00 am, October 14, 2014
Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742–3393. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
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