Pfeffer Amato Wins D-23 Race by 15 Votes

By Matis Glenn

After almost two months, several recounts and court proceedings, incumbent Assemblywoman Stacey Pfeffer Amato has clinched reelection, by a margin of 15 votes. The results aren’t yet official, but are expected to be ratified in coming days.

A previous recount showed Pfeffer Amato ahead by a lone vote, following a late-November recount which had Republican challenger Thomas Sullivan up by three votes.

“I know this has been a long and difficult process for everyone involved,” Pfeffer Amato said in a statement. “The wheels of American democracy do not always turn as quickly as we like, but preserving the integrity of our elections, ensuring the accuracy of the count, and defending the right of every voter’s voice to be heard is more important than expediency,” she continued.

Assembly District 23 covers parts of Rockaway Beach, Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Belle Harbor, Breezy point, and Arverne.  

Sullivan says that the results underscore the importance of every single vote. 

“The most important thing is that you give your constituents…a reason to go out and vote,” Sullivan told The Queens Eagle. “And that’s been a challenge with the Republican Party in Queens for a long time – the attitude is, ‘My vote doesn’t count.’”

“If I had a vote for every time one of my friends, family members or associates months ago said, ‘If you lose by one vote, I’ll feel bad,’ well, thanks a lot, that was the case,” he added.

Baruch Rothman, a Far Rockaway community activist who endorsed Pferffer Amato, told Hamodia that “We are so pleased that Assemblywoman Stacey Pfeffer Amato has been officially reelected to serve as our assemblywoman.  She is the best friend the Orthodox community has in Albany and losing her would have been an atrocity!“

Pfeffer Amato filed and won a lawsuit to force the state to count 94 absentee ballots, which had been disregarded due to the voters’ placing the ballot in the wrong part of their mail-in docket, The Eagle reported. That plan backfired, however, when Sullivan emerged with a one-vote victory.

Pfeffer Amato pulled ahead when she managed to get around 12 ballots accepted in late December, which were originally thrown out due to “double voting,” where voters voted for the same candidate both by filling in the bubble next to their name and writing it in the write-in box.

 An additional six affidavit ballots, most of which were in Pfeffer Amato’s favor, brought her lead to 15.

The Assembly began its opening 2023 session this Wednesday.

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