With most of the vote in on Tuesday night, incumbent Bushwick city councilwoman Jennifer Gutiérrez claimed the nomination of the Democratic Party, beating off a challenge from the local rapper and longtime political candidate Paperboy Prince.

“I am so honored to accept the Democratic nomination for re-election to represent you all in the New York City Council,” Gutiérrez said in a statement, adding that “I don’t take this position for granted, and our team did the work to get out the vote and make sure people turned out for this election.

“Our work is only just beginning,” she added.

Like almost all of her public statements during the primary, Gutiérrez made scant mention of Prince’s campaign, which had repeatedly attacked her year and a half in city council over her vote supporting a controversial budget put forward by the mayor’s office, which included cuts to various educational programs. 

“When you cut the money from the schools, you want those kids to be fools,” Prince rapped in an extendeddiss track” earlier this month that convincingly appropriated the verbal stylings of the Pop Smoke-era Brooklyn drill rap scene. While most wings of the city’s Democratic Party establishment — from the AFL-CIO-backed New York Hotel Trades Council to the United Federation of Teachers to more progressive groups like the New York Working Families Party and the climate advocacy group, Sunrise NYC — all endorsed Gutiérrez, Prince had landed some last minute support from Chris Smalls, founder of the independently-run Amazon Labor Union, a group created two years by labor activist Chris Smalls to organize employees at various Amazon warehouses in the city.

“Brooklyn, District 34. Let’s go out and vote for this guy right here,” Smalls said in a short video, posted by Prince on Friday. 

According to NY1, a little over 18% of voters in Bushwick did, totaling 659 votes. Gutierrez won 2,971.

Two days after the election, Prince responded to their defeat at the ballot boxes with a lengthy post on Instagram – and blamed capitalism. “Never let a broken system define your victory,” wrote the aspiring politico.

“We lost by roughly two thousand votes to the incumbent. They spent $150,000 on this campaign we spent less than $6,000. Once again capitalism controls an election,” they concluded.

While occasionally using the contest to gin up fundraising and to give some volunteer opportunities for aspiring Democratic Party politicos, Gutierrez herself had otherwise largely, politely ignored Paperboy’s political campaign. Before running for city council, Prince had tried running for mayor and also congress. 

Update: This story has been updated with a statement from Paperboy Prince on their loss.

Image taken by John McCarten for the NYC Council Media Unit.

For more news, sign up for Bushwick Daily’s newsletter.

Join the fight to save local journalism by becoming a paid subscriber