Assembly Candidates to Debate
August 16th, 2011

With most people focused on elections 15 months away, Brooklyn residents will vote really vote, not just be straw polled in a hotly contested election just four weeks from now. Three candidates are vying to replace Darryl Towns as the Assembly member from Brooklyn’s 54th district.

In a rarity for special elections where voters usually act only as a rubber stamp to party bosses the three contenders have waged campaign. And at 6:30 p.m. Thursday they will go head-to-head-to-head in a forum at the Cypress Hills Senior Center, 3208 Fulton Street.

The three candidates are Town’s sister, Deidra Towns; Erik Martin Dilan chief of staff for Councilmember, Rafael Espinal, and long-time organizer from Make the Road New York, Jesus Gonzalez.

Espinal has backing from the Vito Lopez’s Brooklyn Democratic organization. An opponent of same-sex marriage and abortion rights, he also got the endorsement of the Conservative Party, which probably does not have a huge amount of clout in Bushwick, and the building workers union, 32BJ.

The Working Families Party backs Gonzalez, who also has support from U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez and some anti-Lopez Democratic luminaries.

Towns, who created the Community First line for her candidacy, has her family’s political influence behind her her father is U.S. Rep Edolphus Towns. She runs the Versie B. Towns Foundation, a non-profit.

The conflict between the Towns family and the Dilans, Lopez allies, goes way back. In 2000, for example, Martin Dilan – Erik’s father and currently a state senator unsuccessfully challenged Darryl Towns for the Assembly.

By on August 16, 2011, 1:39 pm
In category: Gotham City | 19 Comments »

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