Local assemblymembers, one Democratic, one Republican, have retained their seats in the wake GOP Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who represents the 64th A.D., comprising portions of Staten Island and Bay Ridge, easily won over her Democratic opponent, Marybeth Melendez, notching 14,339 votes (73.34 percent), according to unofficial results from the city’s Board of Elections, with Melendez – a community activist — receiving 5,213 votes (26.66 percent). For the first time, Malliotakis won the Brooklyn portion of the district, getting about 57 percent of the vote there. She received close to 80 percent of the vote on Staten Island.
At the same time, Democratic Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny, whose 46th A.D. includes portions of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Brighton Beach, Coney Island and Seagate, notched out a win against GOP candidate Stamatis Lilikakis, thanks to strong support in the southern portion of the district. Brook-Krasny received 8,512 votes (58.3 percent), with Lilikakis getting 6,089 votes (41.7 percent).
In an interview with this paper, Malliotakis said that, going forward, she plans to build on what she has already accomplished — including the restoration of bus lines that had been curtailed by the MTA. She also plans to continue advocating for mitigating “the unreasonable toll burden on the Verrazano Bridge,” as well as for increased TAP assistance to “help middle class families pay for higher education.”
“I feel very honored that the people of Brooklyn and Staten Island are sending me back to Albany to fight for them, to be their watchdog, to fight for the people of the state and against bad policies that are not in my constituents’ best interests,” Malliotakis said.
Brook-Krasny, for his part, said he was “very grateful to the people for giving me the opportunity to work for them for another two years. It is an honor for me to represent this very diverse and energetic district.”
Going forward, Brook-Krasny said, he plans to focus attention on the issue of illegal home conversions which have been a major issue in the Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights portion of the district over the past several months.
“We have to fix the situation,” he told this paper. Among the fixes he sees, he said, are making it easier for inspectors to gain access to homes where the issue is occurring, to improve enforcement of building codes, and new legislation that would increase the onus on architects who are self-certifying their plans, to increase compliance with the city’s regulations. “We have to get some serious results,” he stressed. “It’s a quality-of-life situation for the people of Brooklyn.”
Both Lilikakis and Melendez expressed disappointment over their second place finishes, while rallying their troops for future efforts.
“While we were not victorious tonight, I want to thank all the amazing help from our volunteers and campaign. We did the best any Republican has ever done in the 46th,” said Lilikakis. “Working hard, reaching out to the community, and giving voters an option is what it’s all about. Never stop fighting, never stop working to bring our community and their interests closer together.”
As for Melendez, she told this paper, “I’m human. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t elected but I respect the community. So I tell the 64th Assembly district in Staten Island and Bay Ridge that I will always be their humble public servant. Whether it’s Access-A-Ride, minimum wage, pay equity, TAP for middle class families and graduate students — all those different conversations that were brought to light will continue and they will have representation with me at whatever level I am allowed to serve the public.”