Bay Ridge

Treyger-McCreight race enters home stretch

Democratic district leadership post on the line

August 30, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
District leader candidate Chris McCreight (right) and Councilmember Vincent Gentile (left) talk to a Dyker Heights couple while campaigning earlier this month. McCreight says he has knocked on 14,000 doors of voters during the campaign. Photo courtesy of McCreight’s campaign
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As the closely watched race for Democratic district leader of the 46th Assembly District (AD) entered the home stretch in anticipation of the Sept. 13 primary, candidates Mark Treyger and Chris McCreight each sought to establish an edge over his rival.

McCreight, a political consultant from Bay Ridge making his first run at a political post, touted his grass-roots campaign and his ability to connect with Democrats where they live.

Chris McCreight said he loves traveling around the 46th AD, knocking on doors and talking to Democratic voters about issues. To prove his point, he announced last week that he had knocked on his 14,000th door during this campaign. The milestone came when he was meeting voters in Dyker Heights accompanied by Councilmember Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst).

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Meanwhile, Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst), who has picked up the lion’s share of endorsements from elected officials, business and civic leaders in the race, has garnered the backing of the powerful United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

Treyger taught history at New Utrecht High School in Bensonhurst before entering politics and running for a City Council seat in 2103.

A source close to Treyger told the Brooklyn Eagle that it’s highly unusual for the UFT to make an endorsement in a local district leader race.

The 46th AD covers the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Coney Island, Dyker Heights, Fort Hamilton, Gravesend, Seagate and West Brighton.

A district leader is an unpaid political party official, who recruits candidates to run for public office, collects signatures on nominating petitions to get the candidates on the ballot and works to promote a party’s agenda at the grassroots level. In New York state, each of the major political parties has a male and a female district leader. The district leaders are also known as state committeepersons, since they serve on the party’s state committee.

McCreight said he knocked on his 14,000th door on a balmy August night. He said he has knocked on 50 to 100 doors on weeknights after work and 200 doors a day on weekends.

“I love meeting people. Not only is knocking on doors a great way for me to introduce myself to individual voters, but hearing neighborhood concerns and sharing stories about what’s going on in the community is a very rewarding experience. From Bay Ridge to Dyker Heights to Coney Island, voters share a strong desire to see the politicians they elect get back in the business of helping people, not just their campaign donors and special interests,” McCreight said.

Gentile, who has often joined McCreight on the campaign trail, said he is impressed by the candidate’s stamina. “Hardly a day goes by that somebody doesn’t tell me Chris knocked on their door the other day,” Gentile stated.

But Treyger is also making his mark with voters.

The Treyer campaign, which recently announced that the councilmember had secured the support of scores of lawmakers, Democratic Party officials and business and civic leaders, added the UFT to that list of high profile supporters.

“Our members are proud to support one of their own in Councilmember Mark Treyger,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said. “Councilmember Treyger’s proven record of public service and lifetime of dedication to the community will make him the best Democratic district leader for the 46th Assembly District.”

Treyger said he was grateful for the UFT’s endorsement.

“As the next Democratic district leader, I look forward to partnering with the UFT and our schools to continue our work of uniting all communities and bringing new voices and ideas into the political process,” he said.


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