Canarsie

Election for Williams’ successor set for Tuesday

May 13, 2019 Paula Katinas

It’s a high stakes game of political musical chairs, and the latest winner will be crowned on Tuesday.

That’s the day a special election will be held in the 45th Council District in Flatbush to replace former Councilmember Jumaane Williams, who won a special election earlier this year to replace Letitia James as New York City public advocate. James was elected New York State attorney general in November of 2018.

Williams replaced James, and now someone must replace Williams.

Related: Mayor sets special election date to fill Williams’ seat

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There are eight candidates running in the special election:

  • Anthony Alexis, a former City Council staffer and supervisor of Brooklyn senior centers who ran for the seat unsuccessfully in 2001
  • Monique Chandler-Waterman, a former Williams staffer and cofounder of the youth services nonprofit organization East Flatbush Village
  • Louis Cespedes Fernandez, an architect who challenged Williams in the Democratic Primary for the council seat in 2017 and lost
  • Victor Jordan, a longtime Brooklyn resident and former educator
  • Farah Louis, Williams’ former deputy chief of staff
  • Jovia Radix, a lawyer and Brooklyn regional director for Gov. Andrew Cuomo
  • Xamayla Rose, founder of the Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign, a nonprofit combating youth violence
  • Adina Sash, a community activist and Instagram influencer (known as FlatbushGirl)
  • L. Rickie Tulloch, senior director at NYC Health and Hospital and a Flatbush civic leader

As the final stretch of the campaign approached, the New York City Campaign Finance Board released the figures for the matching funds given to the candidates participating in the city’s new campaign finance program.

Six of the candidates qualified for matching funds. Under the city’s campaign finance law, candidates who garner a certain amount of campaign donations qualify for matching funds on a 8-1 ratio from the city. That ratio is up from the previous 6-1 rate as of Jan. 12, 2019. 

Chandler-Waterman and Louis each received a total of $142,500, the most money in the group of candidates. Tulloch was right behind with $140,720. Radix received $135,296. The Campaign Finance Board gave Sash $107,240. Rose also qualified for matching funds and received $84,104.


In addition to Flatbush, the 45th Council District includes East Flatbush, Flatlands and parts of Canarsie, Marine Park and Midwood. Williams served in the City Council for 10 years before running for public advocate.

In the final weeks of the campaign, Williams rocked Brooklyn’s political world when he endorsed Chandler-Waterman, founder of an East Flatbush nonprofit organization, over Louis, who served as his deputy chief of staff for six years.

Williams’ endorsement of Chandler-Waterman opened the floodgates as several other Brooklyn elected officials followed his lead and announced their support for her. State Sen. Kevin Parker, State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, Assemblymember Nick Perry and Councilmember Laurie Cumbo are among the lawmakers who have endorsed her.

Chandler-Waterman is the founder and CEO of East Flatbush Village, a nonprofit organization that works to fight against violence.

“Monique is an accomplished community organizer and activist who has worked alongside me for the past decade fighting for justice, fairness and equity for all,” Williams said in his endorsement statement. “She has what it takes to be an activist elected official and carry on our work in the community and City Council, which is why I’m proud to endorse her grassroots campaign.”

But Louis also has her share of major endorsements from Brooklyn political leaders, including Borough President Eric Adams, Brooklyn Democratic County Leader Frank Seddio and Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte.

Councilmember Justin Brannan, a Democrat who represents Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Bensonhurst, is an outspoken supporter of Louis. “Farah is a rock star who knows how to get things done and will fight like hell for her community,” he wrote on Twitter.

The polls will be open in the 45th Council District from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday. For more information, visit the New York City Board of Elections website.

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