Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge City Council hopefuls get last chance to debate

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to host forum Sept. 7

September 5, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
All eyes are on Bay Ridge, where political observers are wondering who will succeed longtime Councilmember Vincent Gentile. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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With primary day fast approaching, the nine candidates running for an open seat in the City Council representing Bay Ridge will get their last chance to debate this week.

NYC Votes, a program run by the New York City Campaign Finance Board, is teaming up with the East Kings County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to sponsor a forum for the candidates running in the 43rd Council District. The forum will take place on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Bay Ridge Library, 7223 Ridge Blvd., starting at 6 p.m.

It will be the last major debate before the candidates face the voters in the Democratic and Republican primaries taking place next Tuesday, Sept. 12.

The five Democrats are Justin Brannan, former chief of staff to current Councilmember Vincent Gentile; Kevin Peter Carroll, an aide to Councilmember Stephen Levin (D-North Brooklyn); Vincent Chirico, a lawyer; 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 running in the Democratic primary. 

The Republicans running in the GOP primary are Bob Capano, a supermarket manager and adjunct college professor; Liam McCabe, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan; John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden; and Lucretia Regina-Potter, Republican district leader of the 46th Assembly District.

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

The 43rd Council District covers the Southwest Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights and includes parts of other communities like Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.

The district has been represented by Democrat Vincent Gentile since 2003. The Council seat is opening up because of New York City’s term limits law. Gentile is subject to the term limits law and cannot run for re-election. He is running in the Democratic Primary for Brooklyn district attorney.

Diane Lucas, a member of the Social Action Committee of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, said her organization is proud to sponsor the Sept. 7 political forum.

“Our organization has long recognized that voting is a fundamental right and is committed to enabling others to exercise this fundamental right in every election.  This forum is a continuation of a legacy of social justice and service. The Community Candidates Forum will provide residents of the 43rd District an opportunity to hear from candidates running for City Council about their plans for addressing community needs and concerns,” Lucas told the Brooklyn Eagle via email. 

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization founded more than 100 years ago. The group advocates for the improvement of economic, educational and health programs in communities around the world, according to Lucas.

The race to succeed Gentile is offering a rare opportunity to see the two-party system at work in New York, a rare sight in a city dominated by the Democratic Party.

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 in 2003, the Council seat was held by Marty Golden, a Republican, who was elected in 1997. Golden left the Council in 2002 to run for the New York State Senate. 

Before Golden’s political rise, Bay Ridge was represented in the City Council by Democrat Sal Albanese, who had won the seat in 1981, defeating Republican incumbent Angelo Arculeo.

Albanese is running in the Democratic Primary for mayor against incumbent Bill de Blasio on Sept. 12.


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