Now that City Councilman Jumaane Williams won the special election for public advocate, the special election race to replace him in the city council can officially begin.
Williams 45th Council District includes East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands, Marine Park, and Midwood.
Ironically candidates started lining up to fill Williams’s seat back in January, as the now public advocate was a heavy favorite to win in the special election.
Candidates so far include community activist Anthony Beckford; Williams’ Deputy Chief of Staff Farah Louis; Monique Chandler-Waterman, Founder/CEO of a community based organization; and Xamayla Rose, a campaign consultant who used to work for former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Beckford is a U.S. Military veteran, longtime community resident and activist. He most recently ran unsuccessfully to unseat incumbent Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Ditmas Park, Flatbush) last fall. Beckford is the son of Jamaican immigrants. The Flatbush native, started as an activist at the tender age of 12 while still a student at Winthrop Junior High School.
“Now that Jumaane Williams’ City Council Seat is open, there will be many wanting to run for the seat. Some will use it as a stepping stool to a higher office, some will use it as a resume builder, others will use it as a power grab for their political handlers. I will use this seat to expand the advocacy that I have already been doing in the community for the people for the past 12 years,” said Beckford.
However, the early favorite for the seat is Louis, who has the support of Bichotte. The Assemblywoman is clearly a queenmaker in this part of Brooklyn as she was the chair of Williams’ campaign and was crucial in getting Brooklyn Democratic Party Boss Frank Seddio behind Williams.
Louis has an upcoming fundraiser tomorrow, hosted by legal chair of the Kings County Democratic Party, Frank Carrone, meaning she will likely get county support as Williams’ did. Louis has a master’s degree from the NYU Wagner School of Public Policy and a good history with the powerful Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club in neighboring Canarsie.
Then there is Monique Chandler-Waterman, Founder/CEO of the community based organization East Flatbush Village, Inc., which services roughly a thousand families in everything from stopping violence, mental health, drug addiction and a large range of other social services. She also worked in Williams’ office and has also shown a strong ability to raise money and support.
Xamayla Rose, was born and raised in East Flatbush area, attending public schools in the neighborhood. She is a graduate of the City University of New York (CUNY) and went on to graduate study to obtain her MBA. Rose co-founded the Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign (CRCEC), a nonprofit organization aimed at empowering youth after the murder of her brother Christopher in 2005.
“WERK: Now it’s time. Let’s go!,” wrote Rose on social media, last night after Williams’ win.
Two other candidates include Louis Cespedes, an architect and former challenger to Wiliams in 2017 and Anthony Alexis.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to set a date in the coming weeks for this special election.