Queens in the house!
Donovan Richards just made history, becoming the first Black man to serve as Queens borough president in the office’s 122-year history, AMNY reports.
Richards is a former councilman for the southeast region of Queens, NY. The special election to replace borough president Melinda Katz was initially scheduled for March but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sharon Lee has been acting president since January, and Kats is now serving as Queens district attorney. Richards threw his hat in the ring, coming out victorious in the November election against Republican challenger Joann Ariola, receiving 518,840 votes to Ariola’s 205,893 votes.
The new president expressed his gratitude to Lee for stepping in during a tumultuous year and said he plans to pick up where she left off. “Over the last few months, Acting Borough President Sharon Lee has taken on the challenges of this pandemic head-on and led Queens with grace through this difficult time. Since the election, she has worked hard to ensure a smooth transition and ensure that the office of borough president continues to deliver for Queens residents. I look forward to building on the foundation she has built…I thank her again for the great work she has done over the last few months and wish her continued success in the future,” said Richards.
Recently, he began his transition, being sworn in on December 2nd, one day after the results were certified by the NYC Board of Elections. Voters will head to the polls again for borough president during the June 2021 primaries and the November 2021 general election, when Katz’s term was originally set to end.
The new borough president said he would focus on continuing to fight food insecurity while ensuring that institutions and residents have access to quality PPE.
Richards took to Twitter to express his gratitude saying, “Thank you for the opportunity to serve, Queens. Let’s get to work.”
— Queens Borough President Donovan Richards (@QnsBPRichards) December 2, 2020
Congratulations, President Richards!
Photo Courtesy of @QNSBPRichards/Twitter