DA, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville and Bay Ridge Races Make the News

DA Race For The Black Vote

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez
Ama Dwimoh

Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s announcement this week that he was officially running for District Attorney at Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Restoration Plaza coupled with the endorsement of Bed-Stuy’s powerful Vanguard Independent Democratic Association (VIDA) were huge pluses for the frontrunner.

Getting Central Brooklyn’s black vote is crucial for anyone in the race, but equally important is that Gonzalez hired veteran campaign spin doctor and media pro Lupe Todd-Medina to help run his campaign. It was Todd-Medina that engineered the VIDA endorsement of Hakeem Jeffries over the sitting Congressman Ed Towns when he first ran for Congress, which all but forced Towns into retirement. She then went on to a stint with then Newark Mayor Corey Booker before coming back to Brooklyn and cleaning house for the late District Attorney Ken Thompson when he first took office and was having problems getting his communications team in gear. If there ever was a Kerry Washington type character from the TV show Scandal in Brooklyn, Todd-Medina would foot the bill.

But all that said coming on strong is former ADA Ama Dwimoh, currently working as special counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. One key to Dwimoh’s campaign is getting the other black candidate, Pat Gatling, out of the race, and she is making inroads on this.

Reliable sources say that veteran political campaign operative Musa Moore and his entire street team, who were working with Gatling, have now left her campaign. Additionally, there is a growing number of black officials pressuring Gatling to leave the campaign as her base is Manhattan and not Brooklyn, where she has been living for several years. Should Dwimoh succeed in getting Gatling out of the race, she could very well give Gonzalez a run for the money in Central Brooklyn.

A Dwimoh/Gonzalez matchup for the black vote would also aid the white candidates in the race City Councilman Vincent Gentile and former ADAs Anne Swern and Marc Fliedner. Gentile could further be aided by a strong voter turnout in his Bay Ridge base as his city council seat is up for grabs among four Democratic candidates.

Brooklyn GOP Endorses Saperstein In Race Against Deutsch

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

Brooklyn Republican Party Chairman Theodore Ghorra and the GOP Executive Committee this week endorsed Republican candidate Steve Saperstein in an effort to unseat City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch in the 48th Council District covering Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach and Homecrest.

While on face value this look like Saperstein doesn’t have a shot in Democratic Brooklyn, the district is known as the super Russian district, and although Russians have largely registered Democratic, they often vote Republican.

Saperstein was born in Brooklyn, and grew up in the neighborhoods of Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach. His grandparents, Milton and Florence, were among the first residents of Trump Village in the 1960s, and his wife Elina emigrated from the former Soviet Union with her family in 1989.

“I am thrilled as the Brooklyn Republican Party Chairman, along with our Executive Committee to endorse a quality person and candidate in Steve Saperstein,” said Ghorra. “I have gotten to know Steve from the time of his initial inclination to run and know he is someone Brooklynites, particularly constituents in his district need in the city council. Simply stated, a change is needed and we look forward to supporting him in what is sure to be an exciting race.”

Deutsch will likely also have a primary challenge from his cousin Kalman Yeger, who registered recently as an undeclared candidate with the City’s Campaign Finance Board.

Butler Hit the Big 5-0 With Fundraiser Blast

Henry Butler

Expect a number of elected officials including City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr. and Assemblymember Tremaine Wright to bust some dance floor moves Saturday when Democrat Henry Butler throws a fundraising bash for his 50th birthday.

Butler is running for the 41st City Council District seat representing Brownsville and parts of Bedford Stuyveasnt, Crown Heights and East Flatbush. The fundraising party will feature dancing to the music of old school house, hip hop, R&B, reggae and of course, Prince.

The fundraiser is set for 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday, April 29 at Sanders Studios, 521 Waverly Avenue on the Bed-Stuy/Clinton Hill border.

Alicka Samuel

Not to be undone, six days later at the same venue, one of Butler’s opponents, Alicka A. Samuel will be celebrating her 41st birthday with a birthday fundraising bash.

Hosting the party is Assemblymember Latrice Walker so one can expect a number of elected officials at this party as well.

Samuel’s fundraiser is set for 8 p.m., Friday, May 5 at Sanders Studios 525 Waverly Avenue.

McCabe Offers Free Subway Rides To Straphangers Stranded at Bay Ridge Avenue

Liam McCabe

Republican City Council Candidate Liam McCabe from 6-9 a.m. Monday morning is offering free rides from the closed 69th Street and 4th Avenue subway station to the 59th Street station for his stranded Bay Ridge neighbors.

McCabe is running for the open 43rd district City Council Seat representing Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.

The Bay Ridge Avenue R train stop will be closed to commuters starting tomorrow, and Monday morning thousands of train commuters will have no train to board at 69th Street and 4th Avenue and no MTA shuttle bus to get them to the next stop.

“What the MTA is doing here is unacceptable,” says McCabe.  “They are not providing shuttle service, they are not communicating well with the neighborhood, they are leaving us in the lurch.”  McCabe says that he is heading to the Bay Ridge Avenue Subway Station bright and early Monday morning “to do what I can to help my neighbors get to work on time and ease some of the burden the MTA is forcing us to shoulder.”

“This is why I’m out here every day, talking to people and trying to help people,” says McCabe, “because I care about my community and I am ready, willing and able to help, in big ways and in small ways.”

Commuters who want a free ride from the Bay Ridge Avenue Station to the 59th Street Station are told to look for a black Buick with the name Liam McCabe displayed on the car. 

Brannan Secures Public Financing in Council Race

Justin Brannan

The campaign war chest of Democratic Justin Brannan, candidate for Brooklyn’s 43rd Council District, has just received a major boost with the filing this week of necessary paperwork to opt-in to the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) public campaign financing program.

With the program’s 6-to-1 matching of donations from contributors within the five boroughs, Brannan will receive over $180,000 in public funding, cementing his lead in the crowded field of candidates, and building on the strong momentum that has propelled the campaign in recent months.

“You can’t call yourself a true progressive and not participate in the matching funds program. This is the true test of an open, inclusive campaign, and I’m proud to be able to participate in this vital part of the democratic process,” said Justin Brannan. “Our filings demonstrate  the strong support we’ve received from families right here in the community, and I look forward to fighting for them as our next council member.”

This week, Brannan submitted necessary paperwork to complete the application process for the city’s matching funds program. To be eligible for matching funds, Council candidates must meet a two-part fundraising threshold that requires at least 75 contributions of $10 or more from in the district, and raise a minimum of $5,000 in matchable contributions of up to $175 each.

A review of the Brannan campaign’s filings on the CFB website show the longtime community advocate raising $73,530 in total contributions, including $30,005 in matchable claims, the most of any of the race’s seven candidates. With the CFB’s 6-to-1 matching program, this gives Brannan over $180,000 in public campaign financing.

The CFB data has Brannan leading the pack on a number of different campaign financing fronts. Brannan’s total number of contributions is 567, more than the total number of contributions taken in by the two next candidates on the list, combined. The Democrat can also claim the lead in small-dollar donations with an average contribution size of $131.

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