55th AD Race: Walker, Mealy Race Figures To Be Down & Dirty

Latrice Walker

Incumbent Brownsville Assemblywoman Latrice Walker put out the word at her fundraiser last night that along with money she’s going to need boots on the ground to beat back the challenge from City Councilwoman Darlene Mealy in the September 13 Democratic Primary for her 55th District Assembly seat.

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker
Assemblywoman Latrice Walker

“In 2010 when I ran against her (for the Brownsville Democratic District Leader), Public Advocate Letitia James was my campaign manager and on election day she came to open my office to find the lock on the door was glued shut,” recalled Walker.

Walker said in that race, a van they were using to bring voters to the polls also had its tires slit and someone poured sugar in the gas tank of her car to further limit her, ‘Get Out The Vote’ operation on election day.

Mealy won that race and has been the 55th Assembly District leader ever since, which gives her a lot of power to appoint poll workers, which means there is a good chance she will pull some shenanigans at the polls as well, said Walker, which is all the more reason to build a strong street operation.

The fundraiser was held at the Brooklyn Heights home of Working Families Party Southern Brooklyn Chapter member Dorothy Siegel. Walker explained how when she was a little girl, her mother would take her to Brooklyn Heights where she was able to see another world than the concrete of Brownsville.

Walker went on to become an attorney, and had previously served as counsel to Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and others before being elected to the assembly nearly two years ago. In her short time in the assembly, Walker has already introduced several bills, including one concerning voter reforms to have more people participate in democracy.

City Councilwoman Darlene Mealy
City Councilwoman Darlene Mealy

Mealy, who was first elected to the City Council in 2006, is term-limited out next year and did not return several calls, texts and emails for comment.

However, the Albany Times Union reported last week that Mealy registered a campaign committee to raise money for the assembly race. Additionally, several Brownsville sources reported she has a team out in the street with her name on petitions to run for the seat.

Should Walker and Mealy face off as expected in the primary, pundits can expect a close and hard-fought contest.

“Darlene Mealy has always put together a solid street team and knows how to campaign down and dirty,” said one political source with knowledge of Central Brooklyn’s rough and tumble political ways. “She’s never lost a race she’s been in.”


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