In major political news out of Harlem, Yusef Salaam, a member of Exonerated Five, is expected to win the Democratic primary for City Council in one of the most watched races in New York City.

When he entered his victory party Tuesday night, the feeling of change in Harlem was palpable.

Salaam, who has never been elected before, is now on his way to defeating two sitting assemblymembers who all ran for the same City Council seat for District 9 in Harlem.

“What has happened in this campaign has restored my faith in knowing that I was born for this,” Salaam said.

Some considered Inez Dickens the favorite in the race. Dickens had endorsements from much of the Harlem establishment, and Mayor Eric Adams. But in the end, it didn’t seem to matter much.

“We will continue to work because we are about the community and not about individual wins and losses. So, I love you. Know that I’m not going anywhere. I am going to continue to be here in this community, as will you be,” Dickens said.

Also in the race was Assemblymember Al Taylor. He ended his primary night at Salaam’s victory party to congratulate the likely winner.

“I mean, listen. I took a shellacking. But I didn’t see my numbers that way. I didn’t. And I think when you look across this community, people are saying we want change. We want people to work together. We need harmony in our community,” Taylor said.

Salaam’s story resonated with voters in the low turnout election. He and his friends were falsely accused of sexual assault in an infamous case more than 30 years ago, which exacerbated racial tensions in the city.

He spent time in prison before being exonerated.

“This campaign has been about those who have been counted out. This campaign has been about those who have been forgotten. This campaign has been about our Harlem community, who has been pushed into the margins of life. And made to believe that they were supposed to be there,” Salaam said

With not all ballots counted, Salaam is close to breaking the 50% threshold to avoid ranked-choice voting from kicking in.

More will be known after absentee ballots are counted next week.