Introducing Nicole Malliotakis, The New Assemblywoman of the 60th
Mike Grimm wasn’t the only stunning victory last night.
Staten Island candidate Nicole Malliotakis defeated Janele Hyer-Spencer to become the newest Assemblywoman of the 60th AD.
The district has a part in Brooklyn, but the lion’s share is on the island.
SILive.com had this coverage:
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As Nicole Malliotakis waltzed into The Vanderbilt, Assemblyman Lou Tobacco and state Sen. Andrew Lanza hoisted her hands in the air.
She was greeted with a standing ovation and hearty cheers after trouncing incumbent Janele Hyer-Spencer in the Brooklyn/Island’s 60th Assembly District.
“This is really an amazing moment. I’m so excited,” an exuberant Ms. Malliotakis gushed to supporters and members of the GOP committee at the South Beach hall. “I’m still a little bit in shock. It’s been such a long day; I feel like I’ve been up for 10 days straight.”
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Ms. Malliotakis had 13,211 votes, or 55 percent, compared to 10,876, or 45 percent, for Ms. Spencer.
With Ms. Hyer-Spencer, who first gained election in 2006, a no-show in defeat, it fell to borough Democratic chair John Gulino to deliver the verdict on her re-election bid: “She’s a great person. She’s been a great assemblywoman. It’s not a reflection on the candidate, it’s a reflection of the anti-incumbent mood around the country. It was not a vote against Janele.”
Still, one of the greatest criticisms of Ms. Spencer was that she should have been more involved in issues, and that she let opportunities to represent Staten Island slip by.
Ms. Malliotakis vowed that she would take a different tack.
“I’m not going to be somebody who goes along to get along,” she said. “I’m going to be somebody who goes against the establishment and fights for what’s right for the community.”
The fledgling assemblywoman from Rosebank becomes the first person of Hispanic descent to be elected on the Island — her father is from Greece, her mother a Cuban exile of the Castro dictatorship — and, at 29 years old, the youngest elected borough official. But she said that had nothing to do with voters’ choices at the polls yesterday.
“Like many of you, I started off this campaign as an unhappy constituent,” she said in her speech. “We’re tired of the reckless spending. We’re tired of the overtaxing. We’re tired of the lack of accountability and we’re tired of the one-party rule. This is our victory.”
Congratulations to Nicole for her competitive race. We hope she will truly promote reform values in the Assembly and prove herself worthy of the victory the voters gave her.
This was, frankly, one of the races our blog did not cover as much as perhaps we should have. Hyer-Spencer was an entrenched incumbent whom many I spoke with believed would win, and Malliotakis had been associating with an inordinate number of establishment figures in Brooklyn, which concerned us.
But we are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and have done so since we became aware of her campaign.
Now, we will follow her on her road to Albany and hope she promotes reform while she is there. Our government needs it desperately.