Incumbents cruise to victory in primaries, party pick wins in GOP primary in Ridge

September 14, 2012 Helen Klein
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Tom McCarthy, who had the backing of the Kings County Republican Party, won over Lucretia Regina-Potter in the GOP primary in the 46th Assembly District, earning the right to take on incumbent Democratic Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny in November, in a district that includes portions of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights connected to Brighton Beach and Coney Island via the Belt Parkway.

According to unofficial results from the city’s Board of Elections (BOE), McCarthy scored 69 percent of the vote to Regina-Potter’s 31 percent in an election where turnout was low – just 1,041 people bothered to cast a ballot. The race was the only Republican primary in the borough.

In other races in southern Brooklyn, incumbent Assemblymember Rhoda Jacobs trounced insurgent Rodneyse Bichotte, 68 percent (3,753) to 32 percent (1,778), in the 42nd A.D.; Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz squeaked by challenger Ben Akselrod, 54 percent (1,774) to 46 percent (1,530), in the 45th A.D. and Assemblymember Dov Hikind bested challenger Mitchell Tischler, 84 percent (3,021) to 16 percent (558) in the 48th A.D.

All other Assembly incumbents in Brooklyn were victorious, including William Boyland, who has been scarred by ethical issues, but managed to scratch out a victory over six challengers, though the 1,532 votes he received was far less than the total 2,574 votes his opponents received.

In another closely watched race, Walter Mosley won a three-way contest against Olanike Alabi and Martine Guerrier to run as Democratic nominee for the seat being ceded by current Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries, who won the Democratic Congressional nomination to replace retiring Congressmember Edolphus Towns in November. Mosley snagged 4,318 votes (63 percent), against Alabi’s 2,070 (30 percent) and Guerrier’s 476 (seven percent).

In the newly created 17th Senatorial District, the so-called “Super Jewish District,” former City Councilmember Simcha Felder also won easily, with 6,345 votes (83 percent), as opposed to opponent Abraham Tischler’s 1,336 (17 percent). He will face State Senator David Storobin, a Republican who won a hotly contested special election earlier this year to replace disgraced former State Senator Carl Kruger and who now represents the soon-to-be-eliminated 27th S.D., in November.

Low turnouts may have reflected a change in primary day from Tuesday (because of the anniversary of 9/11) to Thursday, the split primaries (with the Congressional primaries taking place in June) or problems encountered by voters who ventured to the polls.

Throughout the day, there were reports of people being shuffled from polling place to polling place. One political operative recalled taking one voter from the location where he had voted for the last decade to a second location that he had been referred to, and then to a third to which he had been referred at the second polling place. That story was repeated with variations over the course of the day in different areas.

In fact, the problems with voting led some elected officials to blast the BOE. “What I witnessed at the polls today was simply the worst example of voter disenfranchisement I have personally seen,” contended City Councilmember Jumaane Williams. “Voters, many of them seniors, were streaming out of polling sites screaming, cursing and near tears over the frustration they experienced.

“There are countless stories of voters being told that they were at the wrong polling site,” Williams went on. “It is understandable that there would be some issues due to redistricting, but with this much confusion the problem clearly was a lack of accessible information. Additionally, numerous voters were not informed of their ability to ask for an affidavit ballot. Quite frankly, it appears that the Board of Elections dropped the ball on today’s election.”

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio concurred. In a letter to BOE President Maria Guastella, he said, “It appears that poll site confusion and misinformation have become citywide problems in the wake of redistricting,” adding, “It is deeply worrying that the Board of Elections was unable to execute a Primary Election smoothly, considering that only a handful of today’s races were closely contested and voters were few in number. With November’s Presidential Election looming, much more must be done immediately to prevent widespread confusion that could disenfranchise thousands of New Yorkers.”

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