When all the votes were tallied, Graziano had 46 percent of the vote. With 5,509 people heading to the polls, Graziano had 2,518 votes, or just under 500 votes shy of unseating Vallone.
Normally this would be the end of the road for a primary challenger – it certainly was for Graziano in 2013 when he came in third in a five-way race for the same seat.
But that's not the case for Graziano this year. He will also run on the Reform Party line in November, setting up another rematch with Vallone in the general election, this time with all registered voters – Democrats, Republicans and “Others” - heading to the polls.
The trick for Graziano will be making sure that all of the Democrats who voted for him in the primary follow him down-ballot and vote for him on the Reform Party line, as well as energizing registered Republicans to vote for him as the alternative to the Democrat Vallone.
As for the latter strategy, Graziano has an unusual ally. In case you didn't know it, the head of the state Reform Party is Curtis Sliwa, the polarizing and outspoken founder of the Guardian Angels. Love him or hate him, you know who he is.
And those who love him tend to lean conservative, the very voters Graziano will need to attract to the polls to defeat Vallone.
Sliwa has a large platform in the form of his midday radio show on 77WABC Radio with co-host Eboni Williams, who is also a regular on Fox News Channel. And the stumping for Graziano over the airwaves has already begun.
Just ask Jimmy from College Point, a bus driver who called into Sliwa's show saying he would gladly go to Puerto Rico if the city would send him to help deliver supplies, but left with a Graziano plug. Here's some of what was said:
Sliwa: As a proud member of College Point...you got to do me a solid. Have I ever asked you for a favor Jimmy?
Jimmy: No, you haven't.
Sliwa: Okay, you got an election there for city councilman. Your city councilman is named Paul Vallone, that's the machine, the Vallone machine. I need you to come out on November 7, and everyone...to vote for Paul Graziano. He is the Reform Party candidate running against the Vallone machine. Would you get that word out Jimmy and do me that solid?
Jimmy: Absolutely will, I actually talked to Graziano Wednesday night at the civic association of College Point. He's actually a very good person, he's a great gentleman, he's gonna have my vote Curtis.
Sliwa: And notice who wasn't at that civic meeting, Paul Vallone right?
Jimmy: No he wasn't. He had a speaker there and the guy was so full of malarkey, it's unbelievable.
Sliwa: Thanks Jimmy, I do appreciate that. Spread the word, Graziano against Vallone on November 7 in Queens.
Count Jimmy from College Point securely in the Graziano camp next month!