Brooklyn primaries wrap-up
DAVID KENE | 4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.
This past Tuesday's primary election results marked a full year of campaigning that ended for 37 of 47 City Council candidates in Brooklyn, including a two-term incumbent. In Brooklyn's 45th district, an area heavily populated with Caribbean residents, voters provided Jumaane Williams with 3,330 votes--1, 100 more votes than the 2,333 given to incumbent Kendall Stewart--in what proved to be the biggest upset within this year's primary elections in Brooklyn. Stewart was one of five incumbent City Council members defeated by upstart candidates. The immigration committee that Stewart formerly chaired is now back in Speaker Christine Quinn's hands until she chooses a new committee chair; possibly, Council Member Mathieu Eugene of Brooklyn. Votes for this district seat was split six ways between challengers that collectively, seemingly, diluted Stewart supporters. However, Stewart's recent blemish for his part in the City Council slush fund scandal and alleged shady discretionary allocations may have been a contributing factor to his defeat.
Not so for incumbent Darlene Mealy in Brooklyn's 41st District. Mealy, who appeared vulnerable after her stumbling mind change during City Council's term limit votes, proved her stumble was not as severe as to make her fall. Mealy, with 37 percent of all votes, beat all three challengers, including two fellow community advocates and Tracy Boyland, a former City Council member eager for a
comeback. Mealy, who was also recently accused of shady discretionary allocations, garnered 2, 684 votes, had barely enough to keep shut City Hall's doors to Boyland, who received 2, 551 votes. District 41 spans parts of Brooklyn's Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and North and South Crown Heights communities.
Incumbent Mathieu Eugene ended his first full election cycle with a convincing 59 percent victory in the three-way councilmanic race in District 40. Residents in this district, which encompasses Flatbush and Prospect and Lefferts Garden communities, gave Eugene 3, 879 votes, more than both challengers combined. This campaign proved to be the first signs of Mathieu's campaign weaning from dependencies on public endorsement from former Council Members Una and Yvette Clarke. No other City Council race showed more dominance than District 35's in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Incumbent Letitia James received a community mandate of nearly 82 percent of all votes cast in the elections. James easily beat out her two challengers when she received 7, 479, by over 2, 000 votes, the most ast for any Brooklyn candidate during the primaries.
With 68 percent of all votes cast for her, Sara Gonzalez is set to retain her chairwomanship over City Council's Juvenile Justice ommittee. Gonzalez received 2, 138 votes, beating her sole challenger, who received 1, 255 votes in District 38. The district encompasses the Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace communities. Bradford Lander, former director of Fifth Avenue Committee, is now Council Member Lander after securing 41 percent of all votes in a five-way race in the 39th District. Lander received 5, 129 votes,
the second highest of all City Council candidates running in Brooklyn.
The district, which includes Park Slope, recorded the second highest number of votes cast in Brooklyn's primaries, according to estimates, with 12, 464 votes cast. The second place finisher, Josh Skaller, received 3, 180 votes, more than Darlene Mealy and Sara Gonzalez in districts 38 and 41. This contested district seat was left vacant by Bill de Blasio, who now faces a run-off against Mark Green for public advocate for New York City, and the City Council's Committee on General Welfare loses its chairmanship. Lander's educational and occupational background makes him a likely candidate to assume this chairmanship, after he's accrued some seniority. Seniority was the key word for incumbent Charles Barron.