Democratic Socialists of America member and community organizer Julia Salazar has defeated longtime incumbent Martin Dilan by double-digits to win the Democratic primary New York’s 18th Senate District.
After fellow DSA member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her own New York primary upset in June, the spotlight focused on Salazar, and what seemed like a routine state legislative primary against an entrenched and well-connected incumbent became the subject of intense right-wing fascination. She overcame the negative press to oust Dilan, an eight term incumbent Democrat who took thousands of dollars from New York real estate developers and who was tarred by his own controversies.
Salazar boasts a left-wing platform that includes abolishing ICE, criminal justice reform, support for sex workers, and affordable housing for long-time residents of her Brooklyn district.
“Tonight’s victory is about New Yorkers coming together and choosing to fight against rising rents and homelessness in our communities,” Salazar wrote in a Twitter post after her victory. She will move forward to the general election in November with no Republican challenger.
“Julia Salazar’s victory is a testament to how much her policy platform resonated with the people of North Brooklyn, some of the fastest gentrifying communities in New York City,” Susan Kang, a leader of the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, told HuffPost. “Her bold platform of fighting for tenants’ rights, immigrants and transit riders matters more than this expensive smear campaign against her, and that shows how important the issues really are.”