Chin Victorious in Her Quest for a Third Term in City Council

Margaret Chin and supporters celebrate their election night victory. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib 

Nov. 08, 2017

Margaret Chin overcame a hard-fought challenge from her strongest rival, Christopher Marte, Tuesday night to win a third term as the City Councilwoman representing Lower Manhattan’s 1st Council District. The incumbent Democrat received 49.80 percent of the vote (11,468 votes) to Marte’s 36.92 percent (8,502), according to the Board of Elections. Coming in third and fourth were Republican Bryan Jung (9 percent), and Liberal Party candidate Aaron Foldenauer (4 percent).

Chin had bested Marte by a slim 222 votes, or 2 percent, in the September Democratic primary. A few write-in votes on the Independence Party line had allowed Marte to run as the Independence Party candidate in Tuesday’s general election.

Marte had waged an intense campaign, raising significant funds and bringing out hundreds of marchers last month to the Lower East Side in a rousing show of support.

The 28-year-old Lower East Sider had blamed Chin for being wrong or ineffectual on several heated development issues while Chin countered that Marte misrepresented her record and charged that the political newcomer had little of a record to point to of his own.

The two candidates held election night parties in Chinese restaurants, a few blocks from each other. Speaking to a joyfully boisterous crowd at the Golden Unicorn on East Broadway, Chin thanked her supporters and emphasized her interest in working for more housing and programs for seniors. “Now we’ve got universal free lunch for our kids, how about universal free lunch for our seniors,” she said. “So there’s going to be a lot of work to do.”

At Jing Fong restaurant on Elizabeth Street, Marte thanked a subdued but warm gathering of supporters. “I feel like everyone in this room is a part of my family,” he told them, praising their "unity," and a campaign that showed that activism politics is still alive.

“Tomorrow we’ll wake up,” he said, “and keep on pushing and fighting for what we want.”

With the election over, Chin was asked whether bitter differences between the two candidates and their supporters could be mended.

“If people are interested in protecting our community and moving forward to help the community,” she replied, “then I think we can always find ways of working together.”

— Additional reporting by April Koral