Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge’s two-party system highlights race for Gentile seat

May 31, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Candidates from left: Rev. Khader El-Yateem, John Quaglione, Kevin Peter Carroll, Liam McCabe, Bob Capano, Justin Brannan and Nancy Tong. Eagle file photo by John Alexander
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The race to succeed outgoing Councilmember Vincent Gentile is offering a rare opportunity to see the two-party system at work in New York, a rare sight in city politics dominated by Democrats.

In both the Democratic and Republican parties, a strong field of candidates has emerged to run for the seat that Gentile, a Democrat, has held since 2003. The 43rd Council District, which Gentile represents, covers Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights and includes parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach. Gentile is prohibited from running for re-election due to the city’s term limits law. He is running for Brooklyn district attorney.

Four Democrats: Justin Brannan, Gentile’s chief of staff; Kevin Peter Carroll, an aide to Councilmember Stephen Levin (D-North Brooklyn); the Rev. Khader El-Yateem, pastor of Salam Arabic Lutheran Church; and Nancy Tong, an aide to Assemblymember William Colton (D-Gravesend-parts of Bensonhurst) are all running in the Democratic Primary on Sept. 12.

The Republicans running in the GOP Primary, also set for Sept. 12, are Bob Capano, a supermarket manager and adjunct college professor; Liam McCabe, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-Staten Island-Southwest Brooklyn); and John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn).

The winners of the two primaries will face each other in the Nov. 7 general election.

Unlike the majority of City Council races around the city, where Democrats have an overwhelming advantage, contests in Bay Ridge have traditionally been up for grabs.

Prior to Gentile’s election, the council seat was held by Golden, a Republican, who was elected in 1997 to succeed Democrat Sal Albanese. Golden left the council in 2002 to run for state Senate.

Albanese had won the council seat in 1981, defeating incumbent Angelo Arculeo, a Republican.


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