Brooklyn Dems Elect Two New District Leaders

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The Executive Committee of the Kings County Democratic County Committee met Sunday, Sept. 27 and elected two new district leaders and Party officers.

Sarana Purcell was elected to fill the vacancy for the female seat of the 43rd Assembly District by former District Leader Shirley Patterson; and in the 59th Assembly District, Assemblymember Jaime Williams was also elected to fill the vacancy for the female seat of the replaced District Leader Sue Ann Partnow.

Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodenyse Bichotte Hermelyn thanked Patterson and Partnow for their years of service, noting that district leaders are unpaid volunteer positions.

“Partnow and Patterson served the Kings County Democratic County Committee with honor and pride. These fearless women represented the interests of their constituencies, upholding the values of Democracy while raising families of their own. The job of District Leader is no small task, and these women deserve our wholehearted thanks and recognition,” said Bichotte Hermelyn.

According to the by-laws and rules, a district leader vacancy is filled at the executive meeting and historically in every instance, the co-leader makes a recommendation for nomination. Most recently, Jennifer Faucher was recommended by Brad Ried from the 41st AD and Emile Bazile was recommended by Kristina Naplatarski to fill the vacancy for the 50th AD.

Across all of Brooklyn for years according to the rules, other nominated vacancies filled by the Executive Committee include District Leaders (current and emeritus): Shirley M. Patterson, Jeanette Givant, Francis H. Byrd, Felix Ortiz, Sharon Fuchs, Jo Anne Simon, Darryl C. Towns, Erik Dilan, Josh Skaller, Paige Bellanbaum, Gabriel Mcqueen, Michael Cavaliere, Anne Swern, Tommy Torres, Joan Millman, Brad Reid, Henry Butler, Edu Hermelyn, Emile Bazile, and Sue Ann Partnow.

Purcell, a Caribbean-American born from a Grenadian immigrant family, grew up as an undocumented youth in Crown Heights and went on to become Director of Constituent Services/District Office Manager and Office Administrator in the New York State Assembly in the 43rd District, before being promoted to a Deputy Chief of Staff role in both the City Council and New York State Senate offices. 

Currently, Purcell works for the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President as the Director of External Boards and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Borough President.

Williams began her first term to serve the 59th Assembly District in 2016 encompassing Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Bergen Beach and Gerritsen Beach. She has served the community for years as a certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor with a Master’s in Social Work, including counseling women and children who were victims of domestic violence. She is the first Black and first Caribbean-American from Trinidad to hold this seat.

Also elected at the meeting were Jean Joseph for Treasurer, Dionne Brown-Jordan for Assistant Treasurer, Anthony T. Jones for 5th Vice Chair and Shahid H. Khan for 6th Vice Chair.

“We welcome the next generation of leaders to the Party,” said Bichotte Hermelyn. “All the newly elected members are under 40 years old and represent a diverse section of Brooklyn, from Canarsie to Crown Heights.”