Corey Johnson Declares Victory in NYC City Council Race


Community and LGBT activist (and former political editor for Towleroad) Corey Johnson has declared victory his NYC District 3 City Council primary race. Johnson will take the seat vacated by Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a district that counts Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, and the West Village among its neighborhoods.

Tweeted Johnson: "WE WON!! IT'S OVER!! THANK YOU ALL!!"

NycA NY Times report on the vote tally showed Johnson with 60% over opponent Yetta Kurland at 39% with 99% of voting areas reporting. Kurland, a civil rights lawyer, is also openly gay.

Bill de Blasio took a wide lead in New York City's Democratic mayoral primary tonight, poised to beat out eight other contenders, including William Thompson and Quinn, who had hoped to be NYC's
first woman and first openly gay mayor. It was unclear if De Blasio would have the 40% needed to avoid a run-off with the runner-up.

In other City Council races, transgender candidate Mel Wymore came in behind Helen Rosenthal in District 6 with 22% of the vote to Rosenthal's 27%, and Carlos Menchaca won his race in Brooklyn's District 38 by 57% to 42% over his opponent Sara Gonzalez.

In the NYC's Comptroller race, Scott Stringer beat Eliot Spitzer by 51.8% to 48.2%.


  1. bravo says

    Congratulations to Corey, but it is very sad. Yetta Kurland is far more qualified, but that pales in comparison to his cuteness, his popularity, and the Quinn machine in Chelsea. He’s better than any Republican, but he’s certainly a poor substitute for a superb candidate. That’s democracy: it’s popular vote, not merit. And it has worked for 200+ years.

  2. Doug says

    Still trying to understand how an educated guy like Corey Johnson, who came out in 1999 in a very accepting environment, can get infected with HIV. And then pretend like it isn’t both a terrible thing and a big deal.

  3. Fancy says

    You make it sound like those infected with HIV have to have had some tragic circumstances in their coming out. Sometimes people make mistakes in their lives. That doesn’t mean something like that negates their general good character. He got infected by having unprotected sex. That doesn’t exactly make him a monster. And I don’t really see what that has to do with his environment or when he came out.

  4. Doug says


    It is very relevant. By coming out early in a supportive environment, he had ready access to information about how to avoid infection. Those who are closeted but sexually active are more likely to engage in risky behavior since they have less access to prevention information and are more likely to engage in sexual activity with strangers, whose status they don’t know.

    So in Johnson’s case, he had all the information on how to stay safe, and he enjoyed the support of friends and family. He had every opportunity to have healthy relationships with men, not unsafe hookups.

    There was no reason for him to “make a mistake” knowing the severe consequences of HIV infection. It doesn’t make him a “monster” but it absolutely says something about his character, and it isn’t good.

    Also, once infected, he chose to hide it for a long time. Then once he ran for office, he announced it as if were some sort of noble trait. He should have said that getting HIV was a terrible thing, is nothing to be proud of, and that others should not make the same mistakes that he made.

  5. bravo says

    @Doug – What does his HIV status have to do with anything? He had to disclose b/c if he didn’t, someone else would have leaked it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am sad that Yetta Kurland lost. But I think Corey will be better than any Republican. Not the highest praise, that’s for sure, but praise nonetheless.

  6. anon says

    I don’t live in NYC, but at least now we won’t have to cringe opening the newspapers of the future reading about Quinn’s self-dealing and God-knows what felony Spitzer’s committed. Quinn will probably now work extra hard to eliminate term limits entirely in her remaining weeks in office.

  7. Dana says

    “In other City Council races, transgender candidate Mel Wymore was running slightly behind. . . ”

    Good! Don’t know this candidate specifically, but I despise trans activists, who are violent, thuggish and anti-gay. Anything that makes them unhappy makes me happy.

  8. WillowBay says

    Good riddance to that corrupt hack, Christine Quinn. May this be a lesson to the HRC/Victory Fund/GLADD/Mixner & Friends/ era ~ we’re long past the “If it’s gay, it’s good” mentality. So adapt or die & support ethics, not what a candidate does in bed. Tonight is proof that the majority of us have enough sense to vote with our minds & not our genitals.

  9. Bob says

    The problem with these enclave candidates is that they reflect segregation rather than integration. They are the products of a concentrated demographic. Their success does not necessarily indicate progress.

  10. Bob says

    Enclaves like Chelsea create the illusion of acceptance. In reality, it’s a phony acceptance that is based on segregation. A lot of gay people labor under the illusion that they’re accepted in general society when in fact they aren’t.w

  11. Jeff says

    Corey is a hero to the gay community, for his trailblazing stand in high school and all the work he’s done for the community since then.

    Unlike Quinn, he hasn’t betrayed us repeatedly. Quinn’s loss among gay and female voters should (& probably will) be a cautionary tale for him and other activists (like the last HRC head) who get to positions of power and sell us out.

    For anyone disappointed by her loss–and there may be, since the full rundown of just how Quinn was a sellout hasn’t been that well documented on this site–here are a couple of good rundowns. Ding, dong…

  12. DB says

    Corey Johnson is HIV-positive, despite being in his 30’s. It is mind-boggling that anyone would be infected after 1985, as we have known since then that it is never acceptable to have anal or vaginal intercourse without a condom outside of a long-term relationship with an uninfected partner. Unless he was infected via adultery, a condom breaking, or oral sex, he must have been extremely irresponsible and reckless. Somewhat like that does not seem qualified to be on the City Council.

  13. Bob says

    Most gay men’s lives are built on a sex act and the attendant promiscuity. The male-male paradigm is a highly promiscuous one.

  14. DannyEastVillage says

    According to DB, no one may hold public office except those who’ve never made a bad call.

  15. ratbastard says

    NY city council is a cesspool, regardless of the members sexual orientation. The Albany assembly is worse.

  16. Jeffrey Sposaro says

    Any discussion about a candidate’s HIV status is as inappropriate as a discussion about any other medical condition. Making assumptions about how he may have contracted the virus is a far-poorer reflection on those commentators’ characters than it is upon Mr. Johnson. Do you see anyone questioning the habits of candidates that are Diabetic? Maybe if they ate a little better or lived healthier lifestyles they may have avoided such health issues? No. You don’t see that. Ask yourself why.

    Being HIV positive will, in no way, impede Corey’s ability to serve his community well…just as being a Diabetic will not affect any other public servants abilities.

    Grow up America.

  17. roger says

    I can’t believe I’m even reading these comments. Blaming him for getting HIV? I thought we stopped doing that in the 1980’s. Do you not think that he suffers the consequences daily? Must we judge? Does shaming him make things better for everyone? We need to support those that have it, and work on prevention…education, mental health, outreach, etc. I agree with DISGUSTED.

  18. Larry T. says

    Having met MR. Johnson and his enormous EGO a few years back, all I can say is he is a NASTY PIECE OF WORK, replacing Ms. QUINN also a nasty piece of work. There you have it. The developers have won. Corey Johnson and Ms. Quinn helped NOT SAVE ST. VINCENTS. Baloney. They can say what they want, but they both know the truth. CORRUPT POLITICIANS. Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean as a gay man I’m going to vote for you. Disgusting. Really Sad day for the West village being represented by a 31 year old TRANSPLANT CORRUPT .. How do I say this? NOT A VERY NICE PERSON INDEED. ARROGANT, SMUG, WHITE ENTITLEMENT. There you have it. After 30 years of living in the West Village It is indeed another nail in the coffin of the West Village. Pathetic.

  19. Trog says

    Gays are our worst enemies. How about some compassion for our brothers with HIV? The truth is that most of them have done the exact same things that HIV-negative people have done–except they had a lot of bad luck in the process.

    People get HIV from their lovers and boyfriends whom they trusted; some have a few too many drinks and don’t use a condom–perhaps only one time out of countless safe-sex encounters; people ditch rubbers because they desire intimacy and connectedness; and yes, sometimes they’re simply horny. The list goes on.

    An HIV diagnosis does not reflect a person’s moral or ethical choices or their personal character.

    But you know what does reflect those things? … judging others because of their status.

  20. Doug says


    Wrong, dummy. The vast majority of gay men are not infected with HIV and a comparision of studies from the 1970s and today clearly demonstrate that promiscuity has plummeted and monogamy has dramatically increased. Our lives are what we make of them. There is no “paradigm” that forces you to live in one way.


    Am I casting moral judgment. You are damned right I am. Maybe if we had some more of that from more gay men, HIV infection wouldn’t be taken so lightly or, even worse, touted like it is some sort of positive character trait. BTW, if he is not to blame, then who is? The tooth fairy? Let Johnson take responsibility for his actions and his failings.

  21. Trog says


    Comparing monogamy rates today with those from the 1970s is like comparing apples with orangutans. They are completely different–the ideas about sexual liberation and sexual politics were different, people came out at different ages and under wildly different circumstances compared with today. Plus there was no HIV–and no gay marriage–in the 1970s.

    But I’m sure none of this matters to you, since as you basically admit, your main interest is in judging others.

    Plus, who is saying Corey doesn’t take responsibility for his status, who is stating that having HIV is a positive character trait?

    Sounds like you are creating straw men and projecting your own personal issues onto others.

  22. Rowan says

    Also, I know soo many HIV pos people who got this from a partner they trusted. Not only did they not cheat but they really believed in being monogamous.

    Doug, you can accuse people of being naive but your rant assuming that people catch HIV all the same way is alarming and full of bias, which unforts makes a good argument that you had, flawed.

  23. American Dreamer says

    I don’t have any issue with Corey Johnson being HIV positive.

    I have a serious issue with Corey Johnson being the most ineffective city council representative I have ever had in my forty years living in New York City.

    His record has been absymal. He has a blatant conflict of interest because of his business ties.

    Corey accomplished nothing in his last term in office. I expect him to accomplish nothing in his next term in office.

    Corey has been a pansy (no offense intended!) for the real estate industry and has worked for a real estate company.

    It is a really sad day for poor and middle class New Yorkers that this clown is representing us in the city council.

    It will be business as usual with Corey Johnson in charge. And by business I mean big corporate business

  24. American Dreamer says

    As someone who lived through the AIDS crisis and saw friends and colleagues taken down by this disease which still kills tens of thousands of Americans every year (and countless more across the globe) I am frankly disgusted by the comments on these pages

    It is victim blaming

    Sex by definition is complicated and people dont always make the right choices when having sex

    Just like we cant blame the millions of unwed women who get pregnant each year we cant blame gay men who become infected

    I do think once someone is infected they have a responsibilty to stay health and alert their partners and practice safe sex and should suffer criminal prosecution if they engage in unsafe sex without telling their partners. But to blame someone for being HIV positive in and of itself is shameful.

  25. Doug says


    You moron, you are only reinforcing my point, which is that whether gays are promiscuous or not is not something fixed in their identity. It depends upon changing circumstances, including positive external reinforcement of monogamy and personal values. The homophobic troll, Bob, claimed that gay men are inherently promiscuous and the stats don’t bear that out. Thanks for agreeing with me, jackoff.


    I don’t think that everyone gets HIV the same way. There surely is a cohort of people who were deceived by a partner they believed to be negative. If that is Johnson’s situation, then he is a victim and should speak out. Since he already disclosed his status in a splashy NY Times article, it would make no sense to omit such important info from the story. Also, he should have gone to the district attorney to prosecute the person who mislead him about his HIV status. Similarly, if he got it in some freak accident involving a splattered vial of blood or if he got it from his mother in utero 30 years ago, he should speak out and let us all know.

    But as we both know, none of this likely happened. It is far, far more likely that Mr. Johnson enjoyed hooking up for sex and got the bug the very same way that gay men got it in 1980.

    But unlike in 1980, he knew all about it. He could have avoided it, but he cared more about sexual pleasure than his own health, not to mention the health of all those other men with whom he had sex after acquiring the virus but before learning his status.

    That is the mundane reality in most MSM infections, despite the roster of people you claim to know who got it from trusted partners.

  26. Sam says

    As with any political candidate there will be jubilant supporters and opposing, disgruntled voters and haterz. The voters have spoken and I am elated with excitement that Cory left his opponent in the dust. And if I wasn’t living in the sunny West Coast I’d vote for him too.