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Jessica González-Rojas Wins Jackson Heights Assembly Seat, Incumbent Michael DenDekker Concedes

Jessica González-Rojas (votejgr)

July 17, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Progressive newcomer Jessica González-Rojas has won the Democratic primary for the 34th Assembly District seat, with incumbent Michael DenDekker conceding today.

Assembly Member DenDekker congratulated González-Rojas for winning the race and wished her the best in representing the district which covers Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and parts of Woodside and Corona. He also wrote a light-hearted post on Facebook that read, “The cat’s out of the bag!”

González-Rojas led DenDekker, who has held the seat for 12 years, by more than 1,000 votes on election night. She took roughly 40 percent of in-person votes on the day of the June 23 primary, compared to DenDekker’s 23 percent.

However, the tally didn’t include the thousands of absentee ballots sent to the Board of Elections (BOE) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

BOE officials counted the absentee votes for the district today, although the board has not publicly released the results.

González-Rojas’ campaign, however, confirmed that she held her 40 percent lead after mail-in ballots were tallied. In doing so, she also defeated labor leader Joy Chowdhury, former prosecutor Nuala O’Doherty-Naranjo and Angel Cruz in the five-way primary.

She will go on to compete in the November primary election — where she is likely to cruise to victory in the largely Democratic district.

González-Rojas, the former executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, thanked DenDekker on Twitter.

“Thank you for your years of public service, @mgdendekker!” she wrote. “I look forward to working with you as an Assembly Member to bring progressive change to our communities!”

She also issued a statement.

“I am both humbled and thrilled by the trust placed in me by the people of Corona, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Woodside,” González-Rojas wrote. “This victory is the culmination and sum total of a broad and diverse coalition that set out to build a grassroots campaign on people-powered solutions to the challenges facing our communities.”

Her victory marks another win for the progressive branch of the Democratic party in Queens.

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