These are the State Assembly districts that will have primaries on Tuesday, Sept. 12. (Incumbents' names are in boldface)
District 22 (Flushing): Democratic primary
• Julia Harrison
• Terrence Park
• Ellen Young
Two years ago, Jimmy Meng surprised many political observers when he beat an incumbent in the Democratic primary and became the first Asian American in the
state legislature. Now, Meng has decided not to run again because of health problems. His daughter, Grace Meng, wanted the seat but her bid faltered when she was thrown off the ballot because she did not live in the district.
Remaining in the race are Young, a former aide to City Councilmember John Liu; Park, a district leader who successfully challenged efforts to disqualify him; and Harrison, a former City Council member. With Harrison having been charged with making anti-Asian comments in the past -- and with two Asian candidates running - race and the changing character of Flushing promise to be key issues.
For more, see Gotham Gazette's "Ethnic
Politics in Changing Flushing." To read the transcript of a debate between
the three candidates, click here.
District 25 (Flushing, Whitestone) Democratic primary:
• Rory Lancman
This seat is open, as Brian McLaughlin has decided not to seek re-election. McLaughlin said he wants to devote ore time to his post as leader of New York's Central Labor Council, but he has been investigated - though not charged - for possible involvement in a bid-rigging scheme.
Lancman is an attorney, community board member and Democratic district leader. An environmental scientist for the city, Alam, who is from Bangledsh, bills himself as "a prime example of a new breed of immigrant politicians who are enthusiastic about democracy and are beginning to claim their rightful places in the mainstream of American politics."
For more, see the Queens
District 28 (Forest Hills, Rego Park, Middle Village, Glendale): Republican
• Dolores Maddis
• Walter E. Schmidt
In one of only three GOP primaries for state legislature in the city, Maddis,
a community activist who has the party's endorsement, and Schmidt, a machinist
long involved in politics, are competing for the right to take on incumbent
Andrew Hevesi in November. For more, see the Queens
District 39 (Jackson Heights, Corona): Democratic primary
• Jose Peralta
Peralta was elected to the Assembly I 2002, when he was only 30 - and before that he worked as an aide to another member of the Assembly. Enriquez is challenging him but little information about her was available.
District 40 (East New York, Brownsville): Democratic primary
• Kenneth Evans
• Diane Gordon
• Winchester Key
Gordon, who was first elected in 2000, has been indicted
for taking a bribe (a half a million dollar home) in exchange for helping a
developer get a $2 million vacant lot. But according to the Room
Eight blog, few in her district seem to know of the criminal charges, which
probably bodes well for Gordon. Key served as an aide to Gordon's legislative
predeccessor, Ed Griffith. And Evans has held various community service posts,
including serving as Brooklyn director of the Urban
District 43 (Crown Heights, Flatbush): Democratic primary
• Karim Camara
• Jesse Hamilton
For years, Brooklyn Democratic leader Clarence Norman held this post. But in
2005, following a conviction for soliciting and receiving illegal campaign contributions,
Norman had to resign. Since it was too late for a primary, the party organization
Camara, a reverend and colleague of Clarence Norman's father, to take the fallen
leader's place. In the overwhelmingly Democratic district, that virtually guaranteed
his election. But this time Camara has an opponent. Hamilton is a longtime employee
of the city finance department, comumnity board member and former community
school board president.
District 46 (Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Dyker Heights, Marlboro,
Sea Gate): Democratic primary
• Ari Kagan
This race is to fill the seat left vacant by the retirement of Adele Cohen.
Brook-Krasny, the founder of Fun-o-Rama, a now closed entertainment center,
director of the Council of Jewish ?migr? Community Organization. He reportedly
has widespread backing and, if he wins, would become the first of the late 20th
century wave of Soviet immigrants to hold elected office in New York City. So,
presumably, would Kagan, an immigrant from Minsk and journalist.
District 56: (Tompkins Park North, Weeksville, Bedford-Stuyvesant): Democratic
• Richard Taylor
A former member of the City Council, Robinson was elected to the Assembly in
2002. With term limits about to end her time on the council, Robinson for all
intents and purposes arranged to swap
posts with Al Vann, then a member of the Assembly and now a council member.
Taylor, a former district leader, ran unsuccessfully against her in 2002.
District 57 (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, ProspectHeights, Flatbush, parts
of Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant): Democratic primary
• Freddie Hamilton
• Hakeem Jeffries
Three candidates are competing in a spirited contest to fill the seat held by Roger Green, who is running for Congress. A major issue in the race is the Atlantic Yards project, with Hamilton believing the arena and apartments will help the district, Batson opposing the development, and Jeffries wanting some changes in the current plan.
For more on the race, see Gotham Gazette's Succeeding
Green in Fort Greene - and Beyond.
District 59 (Flatlands, Canarsie, Mill Island, Bergen Beach): Democratic
• Abraham Levy
• Alan Maisel
Maisel is a very recent incumbent. He gained
his post earlier this year after the previous member of the Assembly, Frank
Seddio, left to take a seat on Surrogate's Court -- a seat many charged was
the result of political skulduggery. Maisel, an aide to Seddio, then got his
District 60 (eastern shore Staten Island): Republican primary
• Joseph Cammarata
Two Republicans are vying for the seat being vacated by Republican Assemblymember
Matthew Mirones. Xanathis, a lawyer and unpaid former aide to Mirones, has the
outgoing assembly member's endorsement and the lead in fundraising. Cammarata
has been a teacher, police officer and detetctive. For more on this little-noticed
contest, read Gotham Gazette's A
Low-Key Race for An Open Seat in Staten Island.
District 68 (Harlem): Democratic primary
• Adam Clayton Powell IV
• John Ruiz
Powell, the son of legendary congressmember Adam Clayton Powell, has served in the State Assembly since 2000 and, before that, was a member of the City Council. Two years ago, following two rape allegations (Powell was cleared in both cases), Powell fought back
aggressive challenges. This year, one of the men who tried last time, fire fighter and district leader John Ruiz, is running again, along with Gibbs.
District 69 (Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights): Democratic primary
• Francisco Spies
First elected in 2002, O'Donnell, Rosie O'Donnell's brother, says he is the first openly gay man elected to the State Assembly. Spies ran unsuccessfully for the
post in 2002.
District 72 (Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill): Democratic primary
• Miguel Estrella
Espaillat, the first Dominican elected to a state legislature in the U.S., has served in Albany since 1997. He is facing challenges from Castellanos, a certified rape crisis counselor, immigration counselor, interpreter and tenants activist, and from Estrella.
District 74 (Downtown and Eastside of Manhattan): Democratic primary
• Brian Kavanagh
• Juan Pagan
• Esther Yang
How quickly does an incumbent reap the advantages of being an incumbent? Friedman
hopes it is merely a matter of months. Last winter, the Democratic Party anointed
the schoolteacher, community activist, and former aide to Mark Green as
the successor to veteran Assemblymember Steve Sanders. Kavanagh, a longtime
city employee and former aide to Councilmember Gale Brewer, wants to oust Friedman
before she gets entrenched. He has garnered support from the Times and Citizens
Union, the parent organization of Citizens Union Foundation, which publishes
Gotham Gazette, while Friedman has won the endorsements of many leading Democrats.
Longtime activist Ester Yang and Juan Pagan, who is involved in a number of
commuity organizations, are also candidates.
To read a debate among Kavanagh, Friedman and Yang click here.
District 77 (Highbridge, Morrisania): Conservative primary
• Anthony Curry
• Kathleen Larkins
This is the one Conservative Party contest on the ballot Tuesday.
District 79 (Morrisania, Claremont, Crotona-Mapes, Longwood, Charlotte Gardens,
Belmont): Democratic primary
• Sigfredo Gonzalez
• Wilbert Tee Lawton
In 2003, Benjamin, a Bronx Board of Elections official, became one of those
instant incumbents when the Democratic Party chose him to replace Gloria Davis,
who quit the Assembly and plead guilty to bribery charges. He won re-election
in 2004 and considered a run against Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum last year.
This year, still in the Assembly, Benjamin faces a challenge from Gonzalez,
who also used to work at the Board of Elections and, no doubt based on what
he learned there, submitted
6,000 signatures -- more than 10 times the required 500 for the post. District
leader Lawton is also on the ballot.
District 80 (Pelham Parkway, Morris Park, Pelham Bay, Van Cortlandt Village,
Norwood, Bedford Park): Democratic primary
Naomi Rivera, the daughter of Bronx Democratic leader and State Assemblymember
Jose Rivera and the sister of City Councilmember Joel Rivera, is finishing her
first term in the State Assembly. Thompson, a retired police detective and Community
Board member, ran against her two years ago.
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