Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge Assembly seat up for grabs in Nov. 3 election

October 26, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Pamela Harris (left) won the Democratic Party’s nod to run for Assembly. Republican Lucretia Regina-Potter has the full backing of Brooklyn Republican party Chairman Arnaldo Ferraro in her quest to win an assembly seat. Eagle file photos by Paula Katinas
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A hotly contested race to succeed Democrat Alec Brook-Krasny in the New York state Assembly is coming down to the wire as the two women running for the open seat step up their campaigns to win over voters.

Pamela Harris, a retired correction officer and Coney Island civic leader, is the Democratic candidate for the 46th Assembly District (AD) in the Nov. 3 special election. Harris is running against Republican Lucretia Regina-Potter for the seat, which takes in parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Coney Island.

Brook-Krasny resigned from the state Assembly in July to take a high-paying job in the private sector.

The winner of the election will finish out the remainder of Brook-Krasny’s term, which would have ended on Dec. 31, 2016. Brook-Krasny was first elected in 2006 and had won re-election to his fifth term in 2014.

The race between Harris and Regina-Potter is a closely watched contest with many pundits saying that Regina-Potter has a good chance of capturing the seat because of the configuration of the district.

The 46th AD is almost evenly split between the Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights portion and the Coney Island end, in terms of territory. Prior to the 2012 redistricting, the district was dominated by Coney Island, with Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights taking up a much smaller portion.

Regina-Potter, who has run for public office on numerous occasions, is a better known name in the Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights section than her rival. Harris has never run for public office before.

“Lucretia has name recognition and she has done this before. She is an experienced candidate,” one political observer told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Regina-Potter, a design consultant for Bari Tile and Stone in Brooklyn, twice ran against Assemblymember Peter Abbate (D-Parts of Bensonhurst-Dyker Heights-Sunset Park) in the 49th AD.

After redistricting, she found herself in the 46th AD. In 2012, she ran in the Republican primary for the Assembly seat but was defeated by Thomas McCarthy. In 2014, she tried again, running in the GOP primary against Stamatis Lilikakis. Lilikakis won the primary and then went on to lose the general election to Brook-Krasny.

Regina-Potter, who is the Republic District Leader in the 46th AD, is an ally of Brooklyn Republican party Chairman Arnaldo Ferraro, who has pledged to do all he can to get her elected.

Ferraro is a former Assemblymember.

If Regina-Potter wins, she will be the first Republican to win a Brooklyn Assembly seat since Ferraro won the 49th AD in 1984. Ferraro served one term. He was defeated by Abbate in 1986.

Republican Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who represents the 64th AD, does have a portion of Brooklyn in her district, but her district is largely centered on Staten Island.

But Harris appears undaunted by Regina-Potter’s perceived strength.

Harris, who is also the founder of Coney Island Generation Gap, a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide jobs and opportunities to young people, has frequently campaigned in the Bay Ridge end of the district. She attended the 49th annual Ragamuffin Parade and recently sat in on a meeting of the Merchants of Third Avenue.

In many campaign appearances, Harris has pointed out that her father lived in Bay Ridge before he moved to Coney Island.

Several elected officials have come forward to endorse Harris. The officials backing Harris included U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, state Sen. Diane Savino, Assemblymember William Colton and Councilmember Mark Treyger.


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