On Tuesday, September 15, the Kings County Democratic Party chose Coney Island resident Pamela Williams-Harris as its standard-bearer in the special election in the 46th Assembly District to replace former Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny, who resigned in July to pursue an opportunity in the private sector.
While she was in second place after the first round balloting, Harris got the party’s backing, according to a source, after one of the three candidates, Cody McCone, who was in third place, threw his support to Harris, cutting out Kate Cucco, who was in first place in the first round of balloting. Cucco had been Brook-Krasny’s chief of staff and had his support.
Because of the timing of Brook-Krasny’s resignation, a primary was precluded, leading to the candidate selection being made by party officials. Harris will face Republican Lucretia Regina-Potter in the general election in November.
Prior to her selection as the candidate, Harris — a retired corrections officer who founded the not-for-profit Coney Island Generation Gap and stepped up her activism in the wake of Superstorm Sandy — had the backing of numerous local officials, including Congressmembers Jerrold Nadler and Hakeem Jeffries, Borough President Eric Adams, State Senator Diane Savino, Assemblymember William Colton and City Councilmembers Mark Treyger and David Greenfield, who gathered on Sunday, September 14, near Ceasar’s Bay shopping center in Bensonhurst to announce their support of her.
In an interview with this paper, Harris stressed that, for her activism has been spurred by recognition of problems that need to be solved. CIGG, she said, was founded as a media arts program to give youngsters in Coney Island an engaging and educational activity, and has since spread its reach to adults and senior citizens, as well as going beyond arts education to getting involved youngsters active in the community as well as opening them to job opportunities.
The district, while diverse, has much in common, Harris added. “I don’t want people to say that the issues in the Coney Island area aren’t the same issues as in Bay Ridge,” she said. “Yes, they are.” As a homeowner in Coney, Harris said, “My issues are with Sanitation, home conversions. These are realities for me too.”
Resources, she added, “need to be for all, from Third Avenue to Mermaid Avenue, to Brighton Beach, to the high rises, to Seagate. We all need the same amount of resources. I know the work ahead requires a team effort. That’s why I need everybody’s support. Public service really means caring and helping people, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to do it in Albany and across our district.”
Potter, a Republican district leader, was nominated by the Kings County GOP in late August. At the time, she expressed excitement about the contest, noting, “I look forward to the support and the participation of the borough-wide Republican Party throughout the entire campaign. With their help and support, we can establish a unified presence in the 46th Assembly District and throughout Brooklyn. We need to come together as a community to address the recurring issues that affect our area, and provide effective representation to work toward solutions in Albany. Together, we will achieve our objectives in taking my message to the voters and celebrate our victory!”
The 46th A.D. encompasses portions of Bay RIdge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Seagate.