Hell’s Kitchen’s councilmember, Erik Bottcher, was re-elected to District 3 tonight (Tuesday). He celebrated his victory over Robert Bobrick, who represented the Republican Party and Medical Freedom Party, by taking nearly 90% of the votes. He will serve two more years on the New York City Council.
Carl Wilson, the councilmember’s Chief of Staff, introduced his boss at the party with some humor: “Erik is a lot more than that smiling face on the side of the link kiosk asking you to pick up after your dog, right? Erik is a true mensch. Erik cares deeply about this city and this community, and I’ve been able to watch him in action up close, and it’s been a true honor and privilege, and I think his record really speaks for itself.”
“I am an optimist, much like my boss, and as Erik always says, and I believe this truly ‘New York’s best days are still ahead of us’,” added Wilson as he welcomed Bottcher to the stage.
Bottcher shared with the crowd of over 100 supporters at YOTEL in Hell’s Kitchen that a big party had not been his plan for election night. “A week ago, we said we should all get together at a dive bar and just have like 25 people and just watch the returns on a TV screen,” he said.
The late plan for a big gathering meant that Bottcher’s parents did not make the event. “I want to thank my mom and dad. I owe everything to them. When I was in high school, my dad came into my room and said, ‘Erik, I want you to know that your mother and I will love you no matter what.’ It’s all he said. He got up and left. And those words quite possibly saved my life. And it’s one of a million things that they’ve done for me.”
After giving the gathering of supporters, staff and campaigners a rallying speech, Bottcher grabbed his guitar and called Hell’s Kitchen drag queen Jackie Cox to the stage to sing We Can Build a Beautiful City from the musical Godspell.
Further uptown, Gale Brewer, councilmember for District 6 which includes parts of Hell’s Kitchen north of W54th Street, was also re-elected. Incumbent Brewer defeated Diane di Stasio and Barbara Simpson with over 80% of the vote.
In 2021, elected New York City Council members served an unusual two-year term instead of four due to a charter provision that changes term length every 20 years, leading to nearly all seats being contested this year.