With Brooklyn being overwhelmingly Democratic, last week’s primary winners were for all practical purposes elected to the office for which they are running in the general election.
However, in the name of democracy, KCP is looking at several general election contests that it deems examining as part of its mission to bring ideas and bipartisan choice to the borough’s residents.
This includes the top race in which Brooklyn voters have a say – that for president between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Here are some of the other general election contests that KCP will be looking at in no particular order:
Incumbent Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY10) versus Republican Challenger Phil Rosenthal – While Nadler is widely acknowledged as an extremely effective, but partisan lawmaker, he is also a career politician, having gone from 16 years in the state assembly to 24 years in Congress. Rosenthal first got into the race because of his strong opposition to Nadler in his support for the Iran nuclear deal last year, but he also brings an unusually different and strong skill set and solid working-class credentials.
Born and raised in Mitchell-Lama housing in the Bronx, Rosenthal is a physicist, a lawyer, and an entrepreneur, who attended public school and graduated salutatorian from Bronx High School of Science. He then went to Yale where he graduated summa cum laude, phi beta kappa in physics and then Caltech where he earned a Ph.D. in physics researching string theory and cosmology. Finally, Phil earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Upon graduating from Harvard he practiced law at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, specializing in patent, nuclear, and telecommunications law. In 1999, he co-founded Fastcase, a company that brings big data analytics to legal research and is dedicated to democratizing the law. He is proud to have created jobs and ensured that two-thirds of the lawyers in America have access to the law, making it easier for them to address our shameful access to justice crisis. Fastcase partners with scores of state and local bar associations, as well as many of the largest law firms and most prominent law schools in the world.
The 10th Congressional district includes both Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn including the neighborhoods of Borough Park, Kensington, and parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Midwood.
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein versus Challenger Ramona Johnson in the 41st Assembly district covering Flatlands and parts of Sheepshead Bay. Weinstein is a 36-year entrenched Democratic incumbent, who has succeeded her father, while Johnson is a Republican of color with a solid working class background and some fresh ideas.
It is interesting to note that after a long court battle, the Kings County Republican leadership is now coming together under Teddy Ghorra and is openly courting diverse candidates to fill their running slates, and Johnson is one of these candidates, and should get support from the Brooklyn GOP.
Also of note in this race is that Laurie Garson, the longtime female Democratic District leader in the 41st AD was thrown off the ballot in a petition challenge from the new district leader, Lori Maslow, wife of noted election attorney Aaron Maslow and mother to Sam Maslow, who told KCP earlier this year that he is looking to challenge Weinstein in the future.
Robert “Bobby” Carroll (D) versus Glenn Nocera (R) for the 44th Assembly District seat covering Park Slope, Windsor Terrace & Kensington. This is an open seat as longtime Assembly Member Jim Brennan is retiring, and it appears that Carroll has the support of everyone including the Democratic County bosses, and the borough’s reformist and progressive Democratic machine. The problem is, Carroll, an attorney comes from a political family, still lives in his parents or grandparents Windsor Terrace home and hasn’t seemed to ever cross Church Avenue to the large immigrant and working-class Kensington section of the district until the recent primary.
Nocera is a born and raised Kensington native, who also lives in his parents home (although they are both deceased). He is a security guard at Brooklyn College and auxiliary cop, and is also president of the Brooklyn Tea Party. Take away this rather right-wing credential, however, and he comes across as an intelligent and knowledgable candidate on the issues, who appears willing to work in a bipartisan manner to get things done in Albany. At the very least, Nocera, deserves an airing of his ideas.
Assemblyman D0v Hikind – 48th Assembly District covering Boro Park. – Having recently stepped down as district leader and hand picking David Schwartz to replace him, there are rumors that Hikind will run for re-election and then step down, where he will name his son to replace him. In any event, Boro Park politics is always worth watching.