Rosenthal hugs a supporter after learning of her victory.

Helen Rosenthal fought off two challengers in the Democratic primary for City Council District 6 on Tuesday, winning by a large margin. Rosenthal is still expected to face at least two more challengers in the general election in November, but has passed her biggest hurdle by beating challengers Mel Wymore and Cary Goodman in the heavily Democratic district.

Rosenthal had won 66% of the vote as of 9:38 p.m., with 76% of the precincts reporting, according to the Daily News tabulation.

When asked the number one issue she will be focusing on if she wins a second term, Rosenthal said “affordable housing, affordable housing, affordable housing.”

Wymore addressed his supporters, standing on a counter at his campaign headquarters at Birdbath cafe. “Stay engaged, stay engaged, stay engaged. That’s the only way we’ll break through the establishment.”

Mark Levine, who represents the 7th council district, which includes a northern section of the Upper West Side, also breezed to victory, carrying 74% of the vote, with 94% of the precincts reporting. His opponent’s campaign targeted Jewish landlords.

Levine said voters rejected that vitriol.

“Tonight we saw a clear demonstration of the Upper Manhattan community embracing a vision of unity and tolerance over a message of bigotry and hatred,” Levine said. “I look forward to serving our neighborhoods for another four years, and I am eager to continue working on the issue that matter most to New Yorkers.”

Bill de Blasio also won the Democratic primary for mayor by a large margin.

Photo by Carol Tannenhauser.

NEWS | 68 comments | permalink
    1. reality check says:

      ok now can the candidates come clean up all of the flyers, pamphlets, posters and postcards that they have been handing out in the neighborhood for the past 4 days? I’m seeing their remnants all over the street in my area. they must have doubled the amount of garbage on the ground this weekend. It’s pretty infuriating

      • Kathleen says:

        Instead of blaming the candidates and asking them to come clean up the mess, how about asking the people who take a handout and then drop it on the sidewalk. If someone is going to accept a flyer, brochure or whatever, they need to at least drop it into the trash cans that are on almost every corner, or at best take it home and put it in a recycling bin.

        • Mark Moore says:

          Goodman’s campaign put up posters all over storefront windows in my neighborhood. I’m glad he lost.

    2. Molly says:

      Now what are they going to do about the commercial rents and all the closed stores littering the UWS! Disgraceful !

      • Pedestrian says:

        Nothing. The incumbents won’t do anything. We are back to pay to play, government by steath and developers take all. When Democrats can’t get their act together to support candidates who oppose pay to play, zoning for dollars and and a “freedom of information” process that is anything but free or informing, there is a serious systemic problem.

        • UWS40 says:

          Well said.

        • Rafael says:

          “we are back to pay to play”

          Pedestrian: Helen has a solid reputation as independent from financial influence. It was Mel who got free rent for his campaign office (3 Months valued at approximately $60,000), and his credibility was tarnished with possible supporters.

          Upper West Siders are very well informed, and Mel’s and Cary’s caricature portrayal of Helen, didn’t reflect the positive experience that most UWSers have had with Helen and her staff.

    3. Debra says:

      Goodman repeatedly robocalled my apt, including
      this morning before 8am, which woke me
      up. If he thinks that’s the way to win voters,
      he’s sadly mistaken.

    4. GG says:

      No surprises here, no surprises here, no surprises here!!

      Great…Mazel Tov, Helen. Now get to work and back up all the talk you’ve been doing these last few months. I don’t know how she’s going to make my housing more affordable but it sure sounds good.:)

      And, to the good Dr., next time find an issue that we all care about and not just the people in your building. I suggest the rampant proliferation of dog poop all over the place. You know, a real, actual problem.

    5. UWSmom says:

      Hooray! Birdbath can reopen. I love that little Zen balcony.

    6. Bob Lamm says:

      I’m looking at vote tallies on the website of the Daily News. As of 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday, of the 34 districts that have contested City Council races, District 6 (Rosenthal, Wymore, and Goodman running) is LAST in the percentage of votes tallied with 82%. Last in the entire city.

    7. Patricia says:

      Bummer. de Blasio needs to go and so wanted a change from Helen.

    8. Loss says:

      All I have to say is Wymore gave one heck of a campaign. I’ve lived here two years and have never met Helen Rosenthal but Mel Wymore made a point of personally asking for my vote twice. He didn’t know me either, just actually got out where the people are and met me on the street. To me, that’s a sign of wanting to create community. What a loss.

      • NPK says:

        You are so right. Rosenthal is a disaster!!!! She has done nothing to protect our neighborhood.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          30% of the voters agreed with you. 66% disagreed.

          • Nathan says:

            That’s probably just because Wymore hadn’t been able to meet the other 66%. 🙂 I saw him out there at least twice engaging with people just on my daily commute.

            I didn’t vote though because none of the candidates represent my views. Being against ridiculous government overreach isn’t a popular opinion on the UWS these days.

            • Republican says:

              I agree. I think if people had truly checked out Wynore they would have considered him instead of just voting incumbent.

              And as for the poster who said the majority of voters wanted Rosenthal, CORRECTION: The majority of Democratic voters who showed up wanted her. I know we Republicans are a minority on the Upper West Side, but this was a closed primary. In other words, I didn’t get to vote. And I would have voted Wymore.

          • Kenneth says:

            “…of registered democrats who voted in the primary election” needs to be the rest of that statistical observation.

    9. nycityny says:

      Incumbency has its privileges…

    10. Bob Lamm says:

      100% of the vote now in for District 6.

      Helen Rosenthal: 12,655 (65%).

      Mel Wymore: 6,079 (31%).

      Cary Goodman 790 votes (4%).

      A landslide for Rosenthal. Doesn’t look like those endless robocalls helped Goodman much. 🙂

    11. 47yrUWSider says:

      Would be interested to know how many registered Dems there are in each of these districts. I’d guess that in District 6, the 13,000 or so that voted would not make for majority participation.

    12. Rafael says:

      Retail Rents are falling in most of Manhattan, and have practically leveled off on the UWS. Big box retail and – many national chains that have a symbiotic relationship with big box- has been hurting for a while, and it takes years for retail rents to reflect the business trend.

      In the past 10 years, UWS lost Circuit City, a gap, two McDonalds, tower records etc. In the next decade, I predict the reduced footprint of national chains will accelerate, and retail rents will come back down to earth.



    13. Bruce Bernstein says:

      congratulations to Helen Rosenthal! this sort of landslide was not what the “conventional wisdom” projected, nor what any of the Helen bashers who comment regularly on this web site would have predicted.

      A couple of lessons can be drawn from this:

      1) HR must be pretty good at constituent services after all. I know she’s good in my building, and has been responsive every time i’ve seen her. if she was as bad and imperious as the bashers have been saying, she would not have been re-elected in a landslide.

      2) Voters appear to have rejected Wymore’s “slash and burn” negative campaigning. He tried to blame every single problem in the district on HR, and also made multiple false and unverifiable charges. Wymore had some good ideas and was an attractive personality, and a trailblazer due to his transgender status. But that sort of false negative campaigning had no place in this race, and has probably ended any chance he has to gain the seat in 2021, when HR is term limited out.

      I’m glad Helen is back for another 4 years. She deserved this victory.

      • Janet Healy says:

        Thanks Bruce for your intelligent take on things. Helen’s staff has been incredibly helpful and very responsive in dealing with and helping to resolve quality of life issues involving our building and those in the surrounding area. This may seem like nothing to her challengers but she did earn a lot of votes because of this. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most…

      • Nathan says:

        The better lesson is that incumbents almost always win. The “conventional wisdom” was, in fact, that she would win.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          the “conventional wisdom” was that it would be close. i think that Wymore outspent her by a lot, at least judging by my mailbox. And the “conventional wisdom” was most definitely not that it would be this sort of one-sided blowout.

          Go back and look at the WSR comments over the last few weeks. you would think everyone in the community hated Helen!

          further, if you look at the other Council races in the city, you will see that there were a number of incumbents who fared far worse than helen… including Margaret Chin on the Lower East Side.

          • dannyboy says:

            “Go back and look at the WSR comments over the last few weeks.” – Bruce

            WSR’s Comments is HARDLY REPRESENTATIVE of the UWS.

            Many comments fall between marginal and extreme.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              Dannyboy, you’re right.

              nevertheless, i am fairly plugged in to UWS politics and i don’t think many people expected this sort of landslide.

            • Bob Lamm says:

              I fully agree with Bruce Bernstein. Is there any actual evidence that ANYONE predicted a landslide for Helen Rosenthal? Certainly no one did in the many hundreds of comments on this blog. I saw no supporter of Rosenthal, Wymore, or Goodman who came within a mile of predicting the result. I saw nothing in any news report anywhere even hinting that the race might end in a landslide.

    14. Carlos says:

      I am very happy that Rosenthal won. However, I appreciate that Wymore made the effort he did. Hopefully she will not be complacent but will rather also focus on some of the issues that he elevated and were clearly important to a significant number of people. This is how the political system is supposed to work. And good riddance to Goodman.

      • Margaret says:

        Couldn’t agree more. To me, Helen and Mel were each capable and ready. Others could see this differently, but for me as a woman, I personally bristled at Mel stepping up to primary a woman incumbent serving on the city council. There seem to be so many other ways to join in local politics and work for the UWS, and Mel is great at them, besides running a scorched-earth primary to defeat someone from your own party.

        Anyway, congrats to everyone who ran and came out to vote, and thanks to WSR for the superb coverage on all the candidates and issues! Look forward to voting again in November.

        • Vira says:

          Huh? No one should challenge Rosenthal due to her gender?

          Yeah, I see that differently.

          • Margaret says:

            I would’ve supported Helen anyway because I think she does a great job, but it did bug me to watch Wymore primary her, and gender was part of it for me.

            On the other hand I can’t speak to the transgender angle and I admire Wymore’s trailblazing candidacy. I think he’s a role model Upper West Side. They both are quite good.

    15. Paul RL says:

      Gotta admit, I’m a bit surprised at how wide the margin was. I thought Wymore ran a pretty good campaign and actually expected him to actually eke it out. He certainly had enough cheery volunteers out on the streets. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps his stance on the museum may have hurt him. It’s got to be more than just the “incumbent effect.”

    16. NPK says:

      Very sad day for the upper westside. Helen Rosenthal has done nothing to protect our neighborhood and is completely responsible for the Natural History Museum fiasco. Too bad she managed to silence the people running against her so that the democrats of the UWS would see the truth about her.

      • UWS-er says:

        I personally voted for Mel, but Helen didn’t “silence” the people running against her. They had debates, they were out campaigning, I got a million Mel fliers in the mail. It’s democracy.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        how did Helen Rosenthal manage to “silence the people running against her”? i got far more mail from Wymore(most of it negative) than i did from Helen.

        you are sounding like a sore loser.

        • Roberta Pliner says:

          I got repeated mail from Wymore, repeated mail from Goodman, though I never uttered a syllable of interest in either of them. I got just one mailing piece from the face that launched a thousand votes. I saw (illegal) Goodman posters everywhere I walked in District 6, but not one Rosenthal poster. Above all, Rosenthal informed me on what was doable and worth doing. Wymore and Goodman didn’t tell me anything I needed to know.

      • rafael says:

        “Too bad she managed to silence the people running against her”

        How did Helen silence ‘the people’? There were 3 debates and a ton of media attention.

        The right to vote is the ultimate voice of the people.

      • Paul RL says:

        There was no silencing, no foul play, nothing but a fair election here. Sometimes somebody wins because simply because more people voted for that person. If Wymore did run a more negative campaign, I didn’t see it as being dirty or slanderous, and to me wasn’t atypical for someone running against an incumbent.

    17. EvaY says:

      Wymore ran a nasty campaign with nothing but attack ads. Rosenthal campaigned on what she had accomplished. She had the endorsement of several groups I respect. She also helped us seniors at the Williams Residence when we were fighting the Salvation Army. Her staff worked with us and helped us get a good settlement.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        … and there you have it (see EvaY’s comments above). A lot of quiet work with constituents, who were also smart enough to recognize an unprincipled negative campaign from Wymore.

      • Carlos says:

        I supported Rosenthal and wasn’t a fan of Wymore’s but to say he ran a “nasty” campaign with “nothing but attack ads” is not fair. He was too negative for my taste but also had some proactive ideas that hopefully HR will embrace. Inherent in running against an incumbent is saying what the incumbent should have been doing and what fresh ideas you will bring. His tone was not perfect but I have seen a lot worse. Hopefully he will continue to work for the community.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          i’ve too have seen much worse but not in a local race on the UWS.

          It’s true that Wymore had some good ideas and also was identifying some accurate issues, such as small stores being driven out of business. but his campaign was relentlessly negative. he tried to pin every single problem on the West Side on Helen Rosenthal, and grossly exaggerated what she has and has not done. he distorted things in order to make his points.

          HR, in contract, was not negative at all in her speeches or materials.

          at the end of the day, Wymore did much much worse than expected. in fact, he ended up with about thesame percentage as anti-semite Lopez-Pierre polled against Mark Levine.

          i speculate that Wymore listened to some campaign consultant who told him he had to mount a negative campaign to beat an incumbent. The irony is that if Wymore had just campaigned on his ideas and his personality and experience, he most likely would have done significantly better.

    18. Sean says:

      Afordable Housing simply means we will ask developed when we can to include lower income units in their new construction. The idea is to mitigate displacement where possible. Luxury development will continue because there is no will to build middle class housing in Manhattan and middle class in Manhattan means something completely different than anywhere else.

    19. UWS says:

      She fooled you all, Helen voters.

      You’re gonna lose your park at the museum, school zoning is a mess (not that you care about the FUTURE of your neighborhood – her demo clings to some weird vision of the past) and stores will continue to sit vacant. And “affordable housing”? Sure. Cause she was doing such a great job up until now?? Look at all the glass towers going up for the rich people who then get the public school zoning they don’t even need.

      Look at our neighborhood and take it in. It’s about to get worse.

      • Jay says:

        Yes… death and plagues are coming for everyone; all because 8,600 people voted for Helen.

        Get a grip

      • Cecily says:

        Responding to the comment “she fooled you all, Helen voters” : Maybe, just maybe, the majority of the neighborhood isn’t opposed to the Gilder Center. I’m not. (And losing 1/4 acre does not equal ‘losing the park’, btw)

        To say that you lost because everyone who voted for the other side is an idiot is silly, and insulting.

        • Bob Lamm says:

          Well said, both Jay and Cecily. I’m convinced that these over-the-top ugly attacks on Helen Rosenthal (I voted for her with mixed feelings) helped her to a landslide.

          Yeh, the world is ending because the wrong City Council candidate won. 🙂

        • Frank says:

          That’s what these kinds of people forget. They are a small group that makes a lot of noise about things that the rest of us are fine with. Plenty of us are happy with construction continuing and other things. But we don’t waste our time protesting “for it”. So they assume everyone is on their side because their small group of friends, which are not representative of everyone, nod their heads.

          But then the private votes are counted and they’re shocked their opinions are not shared with the vast majority of us.

          Just because you make noise and get in the streets protesting doesn’t mean the majority of us who can’t be bothered agree with you. Just because we aren’t wasting our lives counter-protesting doesn’t mean aren’t going to vote our way.

          These people have delusions of grandeur.

          • GG says:

            Really well said. Great post!

          • Jose says:

            I agree with you and would add that the same applies to this job. The elected representative can yell, scream, cajole, negotiate or do whatever else, but they are only one member of a legislative body. So you cannot question HR’s effectiveness – there is only so much she can do.

    20. Steen says:

      I would have voted for Wymore, but the flip flopping on the Gilder Center (which I think will be a huge asset to the neighborhood and to science education in general) is what tipped me to vote Rosenthal. He should have stuck to his initial support and not waffled to try to get votes that really aren’t there, despite Goodman’s histrionics.

    21. Dora says:

      Glad Rosenthal won.

    22. Stevie B. says:

      I really wanted Mel to win. I also wanted Bernie to win. You all voted for Hillary. Oh, well!

      • dannyboy says:

        “You all voted for Hillary.” – Stevie B.

        It appears that you have some denial about who your fellow commenters voted for.

    23. Quill says:

      I wasn’t happy with Helen’s post election statement that affordable housing would be her number one issue. The UWS has a number of issues that need addressing, including most notably the incredible overcrowding of the Broadway subway line, which is exacerbated by adding more housing, affordable or otherwise.

    24. amy says:

      Not good. Let’s hope Rosenthal does something this time.

    25. Ground Control says:

      Mel Wymore is a great advocate for the UWS. If he expressed negative views toward Helen Rosenthal’s administration, it may be because he felt them important. That’s what one does when they run for office. They run because of the shortcomings, perceived or real of the other candidate. There are huge problems in this city and on the UWS. I suppose how huge depends on where you’re sitting and how comfortable it may be there.
      Mel Wymore’s day will come. We need clear-eyed people like Mel who believe they are capable of making change even when that change is out of the box and bumps up against the major cash that comes from Big real estate.

    26. robert says:

      Will someone from the Mel and Goodman campaigns PLS go out and remove all the signs you illegally posted on public and private property. If you have one near you call 311 and the city will have it removed. I say call 311 to complain about as posting on public property is illegal and the fine is $75 per poster. The same for private property.
      There are NO exceptions for anyone at anytime. Sanitation sends each campaign a letter reminding them of this each election season.

    27. Longtime Upper West Sider says:

      Anyone who has ever talked to Helen has to be impressed by her careful attention and thoughtful responses. We have many challenges in this district and need to bring the passion that was displayed during the campaign to addressing the problems of the coming 4 years.

      I did not want to lose the wonderful people in her district office and hope that we can all support her in November.

    28. ActualUWSVoter says:

      I can’t believe that anyone thinks the second lowest voter turn out in recent history is a reflection of democracy. Looks like UWS has some of the highest in the city but still shockingly low. 25% turn out is nothing to celebrate. I’ve talked to people that didn’t even realize the mayor was up for re-election.

      What is happening?
      New Yorkers didn’t vote in the first, post-trump election and we should all be appalled.

      No lessons learned apparently. 🙁

      • Mark says:

        I’m not even registered to vote.
        I just feel like it really doesn’t matter.

      • EricaC says:

        I was unable to get to the polls, though I had though I would be able to (and so did not get an absentee ballot). I was not happy with the Democratic mayoral candidates – I’m not a DiBlasio fan, but Albanese didn’t seem viable – and as for our district, Goodman seemed non-viable, and Wymore seemed well-intentioned and perhaps better than Rosenthal, but I simply couldn’t get there.

        What I hate about this is that DiBlasio and Rosenthal will take it as a complete endorsement of their current approach, and that is not what I want them to take from it. Although I agree with them on some things, my basic attitude – at least with DiBlasio – is that he is better than the available alternatives, and not much better at that.

    29. Chris says:

      yea corrupt politicians win reelection not really news

    30. Roberta Pliner says:

      Wymore and Goodman hung their hats on a nonexistent park issue. We need more affordable housing, better pedestrian crossings, better traffic patterns, more affordable commercial space… . We already have two very large parks and some smaller green spaces.
      Good for the face that launched a thousand votes!!!