Daneek Miller, union president and community advocate, declared victory as the newly elected city councilmember for the 27th District. The race, however, has yet to be officially decided.
Attorney Clyde Vanel trails by nearly 400 votes with 98 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results, and he said it would “be crazy to concede now.”
Vanel said he wants to wait it out and see what results come from absentee and paper ballots before making any determination to bow out.
But for Miller, the party went on. He thanked those present at his campaign headquarters on election night, September 10, and spoke about his upcoming role as councilmember.
“There was a void, something was missing, particularly amongst labor views,” he said.
“There have been very tough times for labor and working families,” he said. “We said we needed to be in City Hall. We said we needed to be at the table. We’re at that table now.”
Miller was flagged by family, friends and the district’s current councilmember, Leroy Comrie, who endorsed Miller for his position.
“Daneek Miller is a proven leader,” Comrie said. “He has an ability to do the critical things that are required of a city councilmember.”
“He has a strong background in negotiation and arbitration. He’s a people person and he has the desire and the ability to do the things necessary to represent the 27th District,” he continued.
Comrie, who has held the district’s seat since 2002 and was term-limited out, approached Miller last May about taking over.
Miller is the president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1056 where he has been able to negotiate various contracts for his workers among other achievements. He also is well-reputed within the district, having a 20-plus year record of volunteering and supporting neighborhood nonprofits.
“I have a voice that comes along with being the president of a labor union,” he said. “I’m happy to have a voice that I can lend to my community.”
Miller has spoken about a number of issues he wishes to address during his upcoming council term, namely upgrading transportation, job opportunities, education and more.
“Daneek is like a part of my family,” said Melanie Harris, friend and supporter. “He’s for the working people.”
Miller faced competitors Vanel, Joan Flowers, Manuel Caughman, Greg Mays and Sondra Peeden.
Caughman, who has a strong political background, received the Queens Democratic Party endorsement and was initially thought to be a frontrunner amongst those vying for the council seat.
Votes will continue to be counted next week.