State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Boerum Hill, Sunset Park, Red Hook) a 32-year incumbent, is well liked, respected and even loved by many in the her 25th Senatorial District.
But this being a state office election year, for the first time in recent memory, she is expected to have a serious challenger in political upstart, Michael Cox.
Cox, who grew up in the district, has a resume that includes being a public school teacher in East New York before becoming a policy advisor to Queens Congressmen Gregory Meeks and then working in the Obama Administration to the United States Commerce Department where he worked to advance President Obama’s economic agenda as an advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Economic Development and the Assistant Secretary of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Despite this resume, Cox thus far has been unable to garner support from any of Central Brooklyn’s elected officials and he sees this in and of itself to being an issue.
“You cant complain about the problems that we have and recognize there are people even who we respect and adore that are sufficiently inactive and still be upset about the problems,” said Cox.
“If we know what the forces of gentrification and the new dynamics are locally and we know the challenges in education are tearing our community apart – even if we respect people and they’re not doing the job then we have to ask them respectfully to step aside and allow people who are well equipped and well positioned to get the work done to do the job.”
But Central Brooklyn is not alone in the borough that has lawmakers who have been serving in excess of 20 years in the state assembly and/or senate.
So with no further adieu, here are a list of Brooklyn’s state lawmakers that have been in office for 20 years or longer.
1.Assemblyman Joe Lentol (Williamsburg, Greenpoint) – First elected 44 years ago in 1972, Lentol is considered the dean of Brooklyn’s lawmakers and serves as the Brooklyn delegation chair in the Assembly.
2. Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (Sheepshead Bay, Flatlands) – first elected 36 years ago in 1980, Weinstein is so untouchable to a challenge that when KCP recently reported that Freshmen Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte wanted to run Sam Maslow, son of noted election attorney Aaron Maslow, against Weinstein she called and begged the publication to pull the story out of fear she would get on the wrong side of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Brooklyn Democratic boss Frank Seddio. After KCP refused to pull the story, she sent out a release saying KCP made the entire story up.
3. Assemblyman Dov Hikind (Borough Park) first elected 34 years ago in 1982, Hikind is something of a king politician among Orthodox Jews. On the plus side, he has gone against the grain of many in his neighborhood as he favors the prosecution of bad apple pedifile sex offenders that teach in the Jewish private schools, no matter their standing in the community. On the negative side, his pro-Zionist stand is so unrelenting that he actually stood against the Israeli government a few years ago when they dismantled a settlement.
4. Senator Velmanette Montgomery – see above.
5. Peter Abbate Jr. (Bensonhurst, Sunset Park) – first elected 30 years ago in 1986, Abbate is a salty old pro of a politician that knows how to navigate both legislation and budgets. However, Bensonhurst is no longer an Italian enclave as it is increasingly becoming Asian, and there are all kinds of rumblings that he could be vulnerable to an Asian candidate not in this year’s election, but possibly in two years. Abbate is rumored to be looking at term-limited Vincent Gentile’s City Council seat.
6. Assemblyman N. Nick Perry (East Flatbush, Canarsie) – First elected 24 years ago in 1992, Perry is the Chair of the Assembly’s Black, Latino, Puerto Rican and Asian Caucus. Originally from Jamaica and a Vietnam veteran, Perry is also close with Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and the Caribbean-American political machine so barring health issues, Perry will not likely leave office soon.