Dyker Heights

GOP mayoral hopefuls to speak at political forum

February 27, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Rev. Michel Faulkner (left) and Paul Massey are both hoping for the Republican Party’s endorsement to run for mayor. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Republican Party
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Two candidates with unusual resumes who are each hoping to win the Republican Party’s nomination to run for mayor in November will be appearing at a candidates’ forum in Dyker Heights this week.

The Rev. Michel Faulkner and Paul Massey will both present their visions for a better New York City at a Mayoral Candidate Forum sponsored by the Brooklyn Republican Party and its executive committee on Wednesday, March 1, at Dyker Beach Golf Course and Catering, 1030 86th St., starting at 7 p.m.

Both Faulkner and Massey have come to the mayor’s race from outside the political world.

Faulkner is a former professional football player with the New York Jets. He was a defensive lineman for the Jets during the 1981-82 NFL season and is currently the pastor of the New Horizon Church in New York City. He moved to New York in 1988 to run a soup kitchen that served the homeless in Times Square. Faulkner has told supporters that he sees running for mayor as an extension of that service.

Massey, the founder of the real estate firm Massey Knakal, has stated that he is running for mayor to address the city’s problems the same way he built his business: with hard work, a bold vision and integrity.

Faulkner and Massey are each hoping to run in the Nov. 7 election against incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat running for his second term in office.

To date, no other Democrat has stepped forward to challenge de Blasio.

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn-Queens) confirmed on Twitter that he is considering making a run for mayor.

But Jeffries hinted that he is currently concentrating on pointing out the danger he believes the nations faces due to the policies of Republican President Donald Trump. “Focused on Trump. No decision on City Hall until the spring,” he tweeted.

Other possible Democratic candidates are City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has been highly critical of de Blasio; Public Advocate Letitia James; Councilmember Dan Garodnick (D-Upper East Side); and former Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

De Blasio defeated Quinn in the Democratic primary in 2013, a win that helped propel him to his big election victory over Republican Joe Lhota that November.

The mayor is running for his second term amid a swirl of investigations into campaign fundraising activities.

On Feb. 24, de Blasio voluntarily submitted to an interview by federal prosecutors as part on an ongoing investigation. The mayor has been dogged by rumors that he has given preferential City Hall treatment to major contributors to his 2013 mayoral campaign.

The interview, which lasted four hours, took place in the Manhattan offices of de Blasio’s attorney, Barry H. Berke.

The New York Times reported that an investigation is also underway involving an accusation by the New York State Board of Elections that members of the de Blasio administration sought to bypass campaign finance laws when making donations to Democrats running for state Senate seats in 2014.

If the investigations are having an impact on him, de Blasio isn’t showing it.

In his State of the City address, de Blasio touted his first-term successes, including a lowering crime rate, an improvement in the city’s economic climate and his efforts to build more affordable housing units.

The mayor also promised he would create at least 1,500 jobs by turning the Bush Terminal in Sunset Park into a Made in NY hub for the food, fashion, film and television industries by the year 2020.

“This is going to be the new center of garment manufacturing, a new hub of our great fashion industry here in our city, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and a new film and TV studio combined — 1,500 permanent jobs will be created,” the mayor said in his address on Feb. 13.


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