Brooklyn Democrats have spoken.
The state primary’s (unofficial, election-night) results are in, and it appears the incumbents have it all sewn up. The general election is Nov. 8, but given their districts’ blue make-up and the benefits office holders have in fending off challengers, you can bet these folks will be representing you in Albany next year. Here are the results:
Freshman Assemblywoman Pam Harris defended her seat, edging out challenger Kate Cucco in a tight race for the Bay Ridge-to-Coney Island district.
Harris got 3,091 people to pull the lever for her compared to Cucco’s 1,740.
The retired corrections worker took office last year as a political outsider. She still claims that status, but pledged to use what she’s learned in Albany to fight for the entire district.
“I know y’all keep hearing me say that I’m not politically savvy, but mark my words, I will be your strongest voice when it comes to policy,” Harris told supporters on election night. “I learn it backwards and forwards, because our district — from Third Avenue to Mermaid Avenue — deserves every cotton-picking thing we have not gotten. It’s just that simple.”
Cucco accepted the results, but the Bay Ridge activist indicated this is not the last voters will see of her.
“This has been a hard fought campaign and I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I have received. While the result may not be what we had hoped for, we have worked hard and we have raised important issues,” Cucco said in a statement. “I will continue to dedicate myself to you and to making certain that our community continues to be a place we are proud to call home.”
The race was a rematch of sorts from last year, when Harris and Cucco went head to head for the party’s nomination in a special election to fill the seat of Alec Brook-Krasny — Cucco’s former boss who stepped down to take a job in the private sector. The party picked Harris in a contentious meeting of the Kings County Democratic machine that Cucco loyals in Bay Ridge pledged to never forget.
And there was no love lost in this year’s race.
Meantime allies of Harris accused Cucco of being a bad Democrat for interviewing for the Conservative party line leading up to the 2015 special election.
Harris out-raised Cucco — cobbling together a total $80,525 in contributions to Cucco’s $14,465 this year, though Cucco had help from “Super PAC” New Yorkers for Independent Action, a school voucher advocacy group that sent out mailers on her behalf.
A scant 5,087 of 31,966 registered Democrats in the district went to the polls.
Harris will face perennial Republican candidate Lucretia Regina-Potter, Conservative Mikhail Usher, and Green Party hopeful Patrick Dwyer in November.
Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud handily defended her seat from rival Mercedes Narcisse on Sept. 13 — and with no challenger in the November general, she will almost certainly be returning to Albany in January.
The county machine-backed incumbent and former assemblywoman took a cool three-quarters of the vote, tallying 9,986 ballots cast to Narcisse’s 3,160.
The results may indicate that Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Frank Seddio’s influence is still strong in the district — Persaud is his ally, and Narcisse a former friend who broke with Seddio after he refused to back her 2013 bid for Council.
And the race was fraught.
Narcisse was also running for district leader, but Seddio and Persaud took her to court last month alleging that she did not live in the assembly district. She agreed to drop out of the race in order for Seddio and crew to drop the suit. The group also got a judge to force her to disclose her donors after she failed several times to file routine campaign finance disclosures with the state.
And Narcisse lost despite a slight financial advantage — the businesswoman and trained nurse stowed $116,800 in her war chest this year — though campaign finance documents show she kicked in more than $30,000 of her own money.
Persaud managed to raise $103,866.26 — thanks in part to a $7,000 injection from Seddio and four-digit gifts from fellow legislators Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D–Canarsie) and Assemblywoman Jaime Williams (D–Canarsie). Persaud even took home $7,000 from health care workers union 1199SEIU, which must have been a bruiser for nurse Narcisse.
Just 13,526 of the district’s 121,220 registered Democrats voted in the primary.
Persaud could not immediately reached for comment, and Narcisse declined to comment.
Freshman Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte trounced challenger Victor Jordan in the Midwood-and-Flatbush district.
Bichotte captured 2,305 votes to Jordan’s 600 — mirroring her victory against Jordan in a four-way primary race in 2014.
The winner could not be reached for comment, but her opponent acknowledged his bid was an uphill battle and said the system put him in a tough position.
“I knew it was a long shot,” Jordan said. “When one is an incumbent and one has control over state resources and the candidate has a huge budget, they use that budget during the campaign season so they don’t have the budget problems I do.”
Funding hampered Jordan, who was only able to cobble together $850 — $500 of which was his own cash — campaign finance records show.
Conversely, Bichotte raised $36,685 in 2015 alone — with a sizable chunk coming from labor unions and area nursing homes, finance records show.
She did not submit legally required financial disclosures this year, even though candidates are required to do so in July, 32 days before the primary, and 11 days before, state records reveal.
Only 3,114 of 47,272 registered Democrats in the district cast ballots.
Bichotte faces Republican Matthew Williams — who she bested 12,716 votes to 837 in 2014 — in the Nov. 8 general election.
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