Yuh-Line Niou succeeded in ousting Alice Cancel in the primary for state assembly yesterday, and East River’s Lee Berman beat two other candidates in the open seat for Democratic state committee member from the 65th assembly district.
Niou was running for the second time this year. In April, on the Working Families line, she lost narrowly to Cancel in the special election to fill Sheldon Silver’s seat. Niou will now face Republican
Lester Chang Bryan Jung in November. Because of the district’s heavy Democratic enrollment, Niou is certain to win the seat for a full two-year term.
Cancel was selected as the party candidate in February by a closed nomination system that was largely seen as a last grasp of power by the Silver-Rapfogel machine that has controlled Democratic politics downtown for decades. Her showing yesterday — she came in a distant fourth in a field of six — is the strongest signal yet that the old political machine, tarnished by scandal and conviction, has lost its influence.
In the race for state committee, the Truman Club (Grand Street’s old-guard Democratic club) did not even enter or endorse a candidate. Lee Berman, a member of the East River board of directors, has been an outspoken foe of the Silver-Rapfogel machine in our community and in our coop.