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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED SEPT. 11, 2013 | BY JOSH ROGERS with KAITLYN MEADE | Councilmember Margaret Chin handily won her reelection primary Tuesday night, beating Jenifer Rajkumar with 58.5 percent of the vote.
Chin told a cheering crowd in Chinatown that she looked forward to “building new schools. We’re going to start building more affordable housing starting with the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who stood with her on stage, said: “Thank you for giving me someone I can work with again at City Hall that we can continue to be the dynamic duo that we’ve been.”
A few blocks from the Chatham Square Restaurant victory party, Rajkumar conceded defeat.
She told Downtown Express she would “absolutely” support Chin in the general election, which is considered a foregone conclusion in the overwhelmingly Democratic Council district.
The returns will not be certified until next week, but the count for Chin now stands at 8,303 compared to Rajkumar’s 5,891.
Like her election four years ago, Chin won big in Chinatown, but she also won some of the biggest housing complexes elsewhere.
In Southbridge Towers near the Seaport, she won 329-270 according to the initial machine vote tally.
“She’s always around and she seems hard working and sincere,” Stacey Shub, a young Southbridge mother, said of Chin.
John Scott, an Independence Plaza tenant leader and a strong Chin supporter, said Chin won the Tribeca complex by about 20 votes.
Rajkumar appeared to do best in the Village and Soho, where residents were upset with Chin on a number of issues including her support for New York University expansion and a Business Improvement District.
Chin voters tended to cite her experience, while Rajkumar’s support came from people who thought Chin is too close to developers.
“Well she’s not associated with the real estate industry like Margaret Chin,” said Nancy Todd, a senior citizen who moved into the neighborhood now known as Tribeca over three decades ago.
Chin was helped by funding from a real estate funded PAC, which was one of Rajkumar’s chief criticisms.
“We waged a formidable challenge against a multi-million dollar PAC,” Rajkumar said after her concession.
Rajkumar said Wednesday she won her reelection bid to continue to be a Democratic district leader in Battery Park City and other parts of Lower Manhattan, beating Robin Forst 1,484 – 883.
She had said Tuesday that if she prevailed she wanted to work with Chin.