44th AD Race: And then There Were Three

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Two potential candidates have emerged this week to challenge Democratic Party favorite Robert “Bobby” Carroll for the open 44th Assembly District seat left vacant with the recent retirement of longtime assemblyman James Brennan.

Republican District Leader of the 44th Assembly District Glenn Nocera said he is looking to run on the GOP, Conservative and Reform Party lines. Political upstart Troy Odendhal, in an emailed statement, said he is running as an independent voice.

Both Nocera and Odendhal are Kensington residents in a district that also includes Windsor Terrace and considerable chunks of Park Slope, Greenwood Heights, Borough Park, Flatbush and Ditmas Park.

Nocera, who  works as a campus police officer at Brooklyn College, and a auxiliary Police Sergeant for the 66th Police Precinct, is also something of a neighborhood historian and aficionado who runs an extremely entertaining Facebook Group page, Kensington Brooklyn NY, which has 1,600 members. Politically, he is the president of the Brooklyn Tea Party and chair of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club.

“I am against nickel and diming New Yorkers,” said Nocera, who want to repeal the 5 cent fee on plastic bags that the City Council is trying to enact.”I am for lower property taxes for New Yorkers. I think New Yorkers water bills need to be lower,”

Nocera says Kensington’s diversity makes it a reflection of what New York is all about.  He says the neighborhood has gotten better since the 90’s but as an auxiliary sergeant he has witnessed an increase in quality of life crimes such as break-ins and muggings.

“We need to go back to the crime fighting tactics of the Bloomberg and Giuliani administration,” said Nocera.

Odendhal, a journalist, is married with a daughter. His letter indicates he is politically independent and is running on a reform as opposed to progressive platform.

“I believe that my life’s experiences, professional expertise, abilities, skills, political philosophy and understanding of the issues endear me to be an authentic representative of the diverse and dynamic populations within my district,” said Odendhal.

Odendhal said that there are some who believe that we need to maintain the status quo, he could not disagree more.

“We need to stop acting like there is some shame in denouncing the corruption. We need new, fresh, bold and principled leaders who have the courage and conviction to recommit and adhere to those principles. We need a representative whose motivation for seeking elected office is not driven by what is best for their personal interests but, rather, the desire to serve our constituents as honest public servants,” said Odendhal.

Robert "Bobby" Carroll
Robert “Bobby” Carroll

Meanwhile, Carroll, who already has the endorsement of Brennan and several other elected officials, received this week the endorsement of City Council Member Brad Lander, who represents much of the assembly district in the council.

Sources said there was a wee bit of animosity between Carroll and Lander, perhaps over who will be top dog of the district, but Public Advocate Letitia James acted as intermediary and brought the two together to play nice.