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Harris by a mile: Coney, Ridge elect first black assemblywoman

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The Coney candidate surfed to victory.

Coney Island Democrat Pamela Harris trounced Bay Ridge Republican Lucretia Regina-Potter in a special election to fill the vacant 46th Assembly district seat on Nov. 3, winning 61 percent of the vote in the district spanning Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Coney Island.

Harris will be the first black assemblywoman to represent the district, which has a large black population in Coney Island and a predominantly white population in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. The neighborhoods may be racially divided, but the assemblywoman-elect said she’ll look at things holistically.

“Whether I’m African-American, green, or with purple stripes, winning the district means so much to me, because this is a district that needs a real interest in it,” she said. “We need to make sure this whole district is taken care of, not bits and pieces, so that’s what’s more important to me.”

Harris garnered 4,364 votes to Regina-Potter’s 2,573, according to unofficial election night results from the state.

The former corrections officer also out-raised Regina-Potter, a designer by trade who also serves as Republican committeewoman for the district. Harris raised $35,845 during her campaign — 10 times Regina-Potter’s war chest — with help from Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island), Borough President Eric Adams, State Sen. Diano Savino (D–Bay Ridge), and Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. The health care workers and corrections unions also made significant donations to Harris’ campaign.

Harris and Regina-Potter sparred in two debates in October over mostly big-picture issues such as gun control and the national minimum wage. Following her victory on Tuesday, Harris said her priority is securing funding to continue rebuilding parts of Coney Island destroyed in Hurricane Sandy — a storm that damaged Harris’ own home — and pushing reforms to halt illegal home conversions.

Former Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny abruptly resigned in July to take a job in the private sector, prompting the special election. Harris will serve out the remainder of Brook-Krasny’s term ending in December of next year.

Regina-Potter did not return requests for a comment.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.

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Reader feedback

John from Dyker Heights. says:
Lucretia ran a great race, the people of this district missed out on having a great representative.
Nov. 6, 2015, 9:18 pm

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