Cunningham Drops out of Crowded District 40 City Council Race

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City Council Candidate Brian-Christopher A. Cunningham for District 40 has dropped out of the race.

As of Tuesday, February 9, Cunningham confirmed that he was reluctantly leaving the city council race after reaching out to supporters about his decision. 

The council seat is currently held by term-limited Councilmember Mathieu Eugene (D-Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Park, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) who Cunningham lost to in his first attempt to run for city council in 2017

Brian Cunningham

Cunningham was known for his innovative ideas on how to improve transportation in the district. He announced his second campaign for city council on his birthday in December 2019. 

He had raised $24,803 in private funds before dropping out.

“It was one of the hardest decisions to make, after deciding to get in the race, was get out of the race. It felt like it was the right time. I’m planning on being engaged and I’m optimistic about the other candidates left in the race,” said Cunningham.

In a circulated text, Cunningham elaborated that the decision was a personal and family matter. 

“To be clear, our decision,” said Cunningham for him and his wife, “did not come down to viability, but as a choice to focus on family, learning, my mental, spiritual, and physical health.”

Cunningham said he has spoken to some of the candidates and will likely be endorsing one soon. 

Cunningham said that he’s been working at a political data tech company for the past year and a half. He said the mission of the company was to get Democrats elected across the country. 

“I’m not sure what the next steps are yet, but it will involve making sure we maintain the majority in the Senate, in the House, and also focus on the local elections. Making sure the policy we’ve advocated for years will be championed this time and become a reality for New Yorkers,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham’s exit from the contest still leaves a crowded field of candidates, many of whom have raised a considerable amount of money.

According to the city’s Campaign Finance Board website, this includes Blake Morris, who has raised $68,602 thus far and has received $54,697 in public matching funds, Rita Joseph, who raised $58,099 and received $145,958 in matching funds; and Josue (Josh) Pierre, who has raised $46,391 and received $115,003 in matching funds.

The candidates who have raised in excess of $10,000 and have not as of yet received public matching funds include Edwin Raymond ($90,910), Kenya Handy-Hillard ($57,463) and John Williams ($21,808).