Monique Chandler-Waterman Wins East Flatbush Assembly Special Election, Beats Adams Reid’s Choice • Brooklyn Paper
Monique Chandler-Waterman won the May 24 special election to fill the vacant 58th Assembly District seat in East Flatbush, with the Democratic candidate defeating third-party opponent Hercules Reid, who had the support of Mayor Eric Adams, more of 60 points.
With 99% of scanners returning Wednesday morning according to the Board of Elections, Chandler-Waterman, the Democratic and working families nominee, had won 79.53% of the vote to Reid’s 18.08%. Monique Allen-Davy, the Republican and Conservative candidate, holds 2.31%.
“I’m honored that the community has trusted me,” said Chandler-Waterman, who recently worked for the city’s Test and Trace Corps and co-founded the local nonprofit East Flatbush Village, in a press release. “As the new congresswoman representing the 58th district, I am committed to working with the community and doing everything in my power to meet the needs of our residents. I have spent my life serving this community and will work even harder to ensure affordable housing, equitable education and health care, and for us to stop the violence on our streets.
By winning the special election, Chandler-Waterman will hold the assembly seat, which encompasses parts of East Flatbush, Brownsville and Canarsie, at least until the end of the year. She and Reid are also running against each other in next month’s Democratic primary; whoever wins that race will run in the November election — where he is heavily favored in the majority Democratic district — and take office next January.
The seat opened after longtime Assemblyman Nick Perry was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Ambassador to Jamaica; his resignation was timed such that it called a special election just weeks before the June 28 primary. Chandler-Waterman won the Democratic nomination in a district county committee vote in April and received support from Perry, public attorney Jumaane Williams, borough president Antonio Reynoso and councilwoman municipal Mercedes Narcisse as well as the Working Families Party.
But while Chandler-Waterman had the substantial advantages inherent in the Democratic voting line, she missed out on the advantages of the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s campaign apparatus, such as its canvassers, campaign materials and operations. of voting. Several sources close to the campaign and the county party, most of whom requested anonymity to discuss sensitive party issues, said party chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn had worked to prevent Chandler-Waterman to win the nomination, but was unable to merge county committee members. around its chosen candidate, District Manager Cory Provost.
Bichotte Hermelyn refused to campaign for Chandler-Waterman or even publicly endorse her despite being her party’s candidate, and the party provided her campaign with few resources. Four sources speculated that this was due to a long-standing feud between the two, dating back to when Chandler-Waterman unsuccessfully challenged Bichotte ally Hermelyn Farah Louis in a special 2019 city council election (Reid also ran for that seat but did not participate in the ballot).
“It’s a shame when the Democratic chair of the party hides rather than announcing that she supports the duly nominated Democratic candidate in the election,” said Howard Graubard, an election lawyer who represented Chandler-Waterman’s campaign.
Through a spokesperson, Bichotte Hermelyn declined to comment on the allegations or Chandler-Waterman’s victory. The representative said she had no preferred candidate for next month’s primary.
Later, Reid, a longtime Adams aide who had been running in the Democratic primary since last year, jumped into the special with the backing of his former boss, running on the “Education is the key”. Adams is a longtime ally of Bichotte Hermelyn and the county party. In a statement, Reid said the odds were stacked against him in the special after the county committee selected Chandler-Waterman, and said he looked forward to the June 28 primary.
“Everyone knows June 28 is what matters most, and I remain focused on providing effective and dedicated leadership to this community,” Reid said. “Despite long hurdles and efforts to get our campaign on the ballot, we have worked hard in the face of a daunting challenge. This incredibly weak special election result will only be temporary. I will not back down against insiders trying to install one of their own in this seat. We will build on our good results from yesterday to emerge victorious next month. We are not finished yet and I am excited about the work ahead.
A campaign adviser to the mayor did not respond to a request for comment.
As usual, turnout in the special elections was extremely low. According to the State Board of Elections, only 2,384 votes were counted Wednesday morning, out of 78,793 registered voters in the district.