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Assembly Member Michael DenDekker Defeated, Progressives Strike Another Blow

Jessica Gonzáles-Rojas (votejgr)

June 24, 2020 By Christian Murray

The progressive wing within the Democratic Party struck yet another blow last night.

Jessica González-Rojas, who was the former executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, appears to have defeated 12-year incumbent Michael DenDekker to win the primary for the 34th Assembly District.

González-Rojas had taken roughly 40 percent of the votes, while DenDekker about 23 percent— with 99 percent of scanners reported, according to the NYC Board of Elections unofficial results at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Joy Chowdhury, a labor leader, had garnered 15 percent of the vote, while Nuala O’Doherty-Naranjo,  a former prosecutor, 14 percent.

Assembly Member Michael DenDekker (Facebook)

However, an unprecedented number of absentee ballots are yet to be counted. The BOE will begin counting absentee ballots by hand after June 30.

Gonzáles-Rojas, who has a 1,100 vote lead, is almost certain to win and will represent the Democrats in the November general election in a district that is 60 percent Latino and incorporates the neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, and parts of Woodside and Corona.

Gonzáles-Rojas had the backing of many progressives, including Tiffany Caban, who was narrowly defeated by Melinda Katz in the primary for District Attorney last year. Council Member Danny Dromm also supported her.

Gonzalez-Rojas is yet another Hispanic woman to be successful in this section of Queens.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was elected to represent the 14th Congressional District in 2018, Jessica Ramos to the 13th state senate district in 2018, and Catalina Cruz, to the assembly in the neighboring 39th District.

Ocasio-Cortez, Ramos and Cruz all won their respective primaries last night with ease.

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Jeanne Grote

I am truly elated Jessica Gonzalez won the seat! Hopefully, many needed changes will happen in Woodside after long years and much deterioration.

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