Charles Barron (248814)
Credit: Bill Moore photo

The special election for Assembly District 60 is in full swing as early voting kicked off this past Saturday. The seat was previously held by Assemblymember Charles Barron, who was just elected to City Council District 42.

Candidates vying to replace him include Democrat Nikki Lucas, Working Families Party Keron Alleyne, and Republican Marvin J. King.

Assembly District 60 encompasses the East New York, Starrett City, and parts of Brownsville neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and is primarily Black and Brown communities. Barron has held the State Assembly and overlapping City Council seat off and on again over the course of the last 15 years with his wife, who also ran for and won the same seats at different times.

However, as Barron was elected to city council for the 5th time in 2021, former Assemblymember and Councilmember Inez Barron decided last year that she would not be running for Assembly again.

Her decision to retire leaves a gap in their stronghold on the districts and the opportunity for a new face in the office. She indicated in a public announcement last October that she and her husband would like that face to be long-time colleague and community organizer Keron Alleyne.

Alleyne interned and worked for Charles Barron in the past, and has their undying support in his campaign. He has been an active community organizer, gardener, and leader in his native district for years. He ran for state senate in Senatorial District 19 in 2020, but lost to incumbent Sen. Roxanne Persaud in the June primary. So far in the special election he has raised about $23,073, said the state’s disclosure reports.

Lucas is a long-time community activist and former district leader residing in Starrett City. She ran against Barron for the 42nd City Council seat in 2021 and lost. Lucas said she pivoted to the Assembly race because there was still work to be done in the community. Lucas has garnered strong endorsements from Democratic leaders, such as the Kings County Democratic Party, and labor unions. She has raised about $31,925 in campaign contributions, said the state’s disclosure reports.

District leader Marvin J. King, who’s running on the Republican and Conservative line, could not be reached directly for comment. But, Kings County Republican Party Chairman Ted Ghorra confirmed his candidacy.

Ghorra said given the short time frame for the special election, it’s not surprising that many people aren’t aware of the candidates or getting out the vote.

The short turnaround time for the special election, since it was announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Jan. 6, feels even more sped up considering right after the special election is over the winner will have to begin campaigning again for the primary in June and then the general election in November. Basically, they’ll be running for office for the next nine months in total to keep their seat, if elected.

According to Board of Elections results as of Tuesday night, a total of 116 people have voted early in the special election so far. Election Day for the 60th special election is next Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about culture and politics in New York City for The Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting:

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