Dem District 43 City Council Race Petitioning Shows No Clear Favorites

As petitioning comes to a close, the race for Democratic City Council nominee in District 43 is heating up, and there still isn’t a lot of distance between the leading and last place candidates in the five-person race.

Justin Brannan
Public Advocate Letitia James

Justin Brannan, the frontrunner, did score big last Wednesday with a crucial endorsement from New York City’s Public Advocate Letitia James. “It’s an honor to earn the support of Public Advocate Letitia James,” said Brannan.

KCP asked James what prompted her decision to endorse Brannan.  

“Justin and I go way back,” said James. “We worked together when I was a staff member in the assembly and he was working for a number of of other assembly members. I also worked with him when I was an assistant attorney general [in Brooklyn] –– and as I mentioned before, the best Councilmembers are former staff.”

Pastor Khader El-Yateem

Brannan closed his petitioning run with 2,811 signatures last week and while that number is impressive, his opponent Rev. Khader El-Yateem, received even more signatures with 2,850.

“This campaign has seen enormous grassroots support over the past month,” said El-Yateem. “I am humbled, and more motivated than ever. These signatures and this massive volunteer effort should send a clear signal that people in this district are finished with politics as usual, and are coming together not because of me, but to elect progressive leadership that is truly accountable to the entire district.”

Nancy Tong, the only woman and Asian American candidate in the Democratic race belted out 1,748 signatures, most of which she said were acquired by door-to-door campaigning.

Kevin Peter Carroll
Vincent Chirico

Meanwhile, Kevin Peter Carroll and Vincent Chirico battle it out with each filing more than 2,000 signatures.

“I am both thrilled and humbled by the number of people who are supporting my candidacy and signed my ballot petitions,” said Carroll, bringing in an impressive 2,307 signatures. “The feedback I’ve received about my vision for the district – better funding for local schools, affordable housing for seniors, and city control of our transportation systems – has energized me and my campaign as we gear up for the democratic primary election in September.”

Chirico finalized his petitioning run with 2006 signatures and had all good things to say about his first run for public office. We thoroughly enjoyed the petitioning process.  It was yet another opportunity to discuss issues of concern with voters, and to continue to spread our message to bring both creative new leadership ideas to the Council and additional resources back to our community.”

Now that the petitioning period has ended, candidates have a small window to challenge their opponents’ signature submissions. The legibility of a supporters signature and their eligibility to vote are factors considered in determining if a signature can be successfully counted towards the 450 signatures required to get on the ballot.

Meanwhile, today also marks the end of the 9th campaign finance filing period for the 2017 primary. Thus far the only Democratic candidates to post their filing for this period on the New York City Campiagn Fiance Board (CFB) website were El Yateem and Chirico.

El-Yateem has raised a health $104,817 and after spending still has $61,938 to spend. Chirco reported raising $37,000 including a $5,000 loan to himself and has $4,725 left in his account to spend.

Money raising figures will be added to this post throughout day as they get posted on the CFB website.

Editor’s note: Most of these signature totals came from the campaigns of the candidates and were not verified.

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