US Rep. Eliot Engel Wins Congressional Primary

Jun 26, 2012
Zak Failla
Scarsdale Daily Voice
The Westchester County Board of Elections’ unofficial tally finds Eliot Engel with 92 percent of the vote over longtime Bronx-native Aniello Grimaldi

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) was a decisive winner Tuesday night in the Democratic Congressional primary in the newly formed 16th Congressional District, topping attorney Aniello Grimaldi, according to unofficial results from the board of elections.

With 412 districts out of 545 reporting results – 75 percent, the Westchester County Board of Elections’ unofficial tally finds Engel with 92 percent of the vote over longtime Bronx-native Grimaldi. Engel unofficially leads with 5,019 votes to 418.

“Thank you first and foremost to my voters. I’m overwhelmingly grateful and humbled,” Engel said. “People in the new district will see someone who works hard and cares. This is a great victory and we’re glad the distribution is so high because it shows that the new district believes.”

Joseph O’Brien, director of public affairs for Engel, said that they were surprised by the lopsided outcome.

“Usually you can count on an opponent getting 20 percent of the vote, for a variety of reasons,” he said. “We knew we were liked in the Bronx areas, the new areas must feel the same way.”

The recently redrawn 16th Congressional District includes the southern part of Westchester County and a part of the north Bronx. Most of the area was formerly a part of the 18th Congressional District, represented by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison).

Engel, who was the representative in the 17th District, has 24 years of experience in Congress. The lifelong Bronx resident has already served some of the constituents in his new district. He said he thinks education, affordable health care and reviving the economy are what voters in the new district are prioritizing.

After winning the primary by an overwhelming margin, Engel said that he never took his opponent lightly and that he said he would serve the district over the next two years.

“I always run hard, I believe you cannot ever take anything for granted,” he said. “The voters gave me a two-year contract to serve and now they’ve renewed it. I’m overwhelmed.”