Scrum Is On In 46th District Assembly Race


An Iraq War veteran and hero.  A chief of staff with a high-powered political operative boyfriend, A young lawyer with smarts and more political juice than a Rastafarian diet restaurant. And that’s just the rumored frontrunners to replace soon to be stepping down 46th District Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny.

Either way, the scrum is on to replace Brook-Krasny, the first Russian born-American to be elected to state office, who has told media outlets he will step down July 7. The district includes Coney Island and parts of Brighton Beach to the East, and traces of Gravesend and Bath Beach moving west to also include chunks of Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge.

Republican 46th Assembly District Leaders Marcus Aurelius Nussbaum and Lucretia Regina-Potter.
Republican 46th Assembly District Leaders Marcus Aurelius Nussbaum and Lucretia Regina-Potter.

The war hero is 46th Assembly District GOP male leader and attorney Marcus (Marc)  Nussbaum, who confirmed to KCP that he is very interested in running for the seat, but hasn’t made up his mind yet.

He has also been quoted by media outlets as saying he wanted to be “a catalyst for the revival of our beleaguered but beloved Republican Party, especially in Brooklyn.”

Nussbaum was born in Brooklyn and currently lives in Coney Island. He was a captain in the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery, and received a Bronze Star Medal in 2003 for his shooting down of scud missiles that former Iraq President Saddam Hussein launched at Camp Doha where he was stationed on the Iraq-Kuwait border.

On the Democratic side the names most being bandied about are Andrew Gounardes, who is currently the chief counsel and head of the policy unit to Borough President Eric Adams’ office and had previously worked for City Councilman Vinnie Gentile, and Kate Cucco, Brook-Krasny’s chief of staff.

Andrew Gounardes

Gounardes is a local Bay Ridge boy who made good after graduating from Fort Hamilton High School and George Washington University Law School.  Gounardes also serves as the president of the Bay Ridge Historical Society and ran an impressive, but losing campaign against popular GOP Sen. Marty Golden in 2012.

Gounardes did not return emails for comment.

Cucco may not have the political pedigree of Gounardes, but she does have boyfriend Jonathan Yedin, the Vice President of Campaigns and Elections for the powerful political consulting agency, The Advance Group. Yedin also served as Executive Director of the Brooklyn Democratic Party for a number of years.

Jonathan Yedin and Kate Cucco

Cucco, like her possible opponents, is playing her plans close to the vest. “At this point in time, I am fully committed to aiding Assemblyman Brook-Krasny through the remaining days of the legislative session, and will not be addressing this or any future elections at the moment,” she said.

Other names being mentioned in the running are Coney Island community activist Pam Harris and GOP female district leader Lucretia Regina-Potter.

GOP Bay Ridge businessman Stamatis “Steve” Lilikakis, who narrowly lost to Brook-Krasny last year, is also a qualified candidate, but he told KCP he is not running in this election cycle due to family and business concerns.

Assuming Brook-Krasny does resign in July as reported, there would be a special election for the seat in November, in which both Kings County Democrats and Republicans would hold an executive committee meeting and choose a candidate to represent the Party and run.

Both Kings County GOP Chair Craig Eaton and 46th Democratic Assembly District Leader Dilia Schack said several possible candidates have reached out to them, but it is too early in the process to name names or say who is a leading candidate.