It’s now a three-way race for the Democratic nomination to fill the seat vacated by former Assemblymember Pamela Harris, who resigned from office in April after being slammed with an 11-count indictment on fraud and corruption charges in January.
Chris McCreight, chief of staff to City Councilmember Justin Brannan, announced his candidacy for the post on Thursday, June 7 at the meeting of the Bay Ridge Democrats and later at the Lambda Democrats in Park Slope.
In seeking the nomination, he joins Coney Island activist Mathylde Frontus and Ethan Lustig-Elgrably, a former staffer for City Councilmember Mark Treyger.
One Republican, Steve Saperstein, is also seeking to fill the empty seat in the 46th A.D., which encompasses portions of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Brighton Beach, Sea Gate and Coney Island.
McCreight, the only Ridgeite in the race, said one of his main goals, should he be elected, would be to “make sure every neighborhood in the district, which is very diverse, gets the attention it deserves.
“A lot of issues in Bay Ridge haven’t gotten the attention they deserve, school overcrowding, the R train,” he went on. “On the other hand, in Coney Island, there are issues with overdevelopment spiraling out of control. They’re trying to put thousands and thousands of apartments in — and they’re not necessarily going to be affordable — and that’s problematic with the already stressed infrastructure.”
Not to mention, McCreight added, that in case of emergency — such as Superstorm Sandy — there are only two ways in and out of the neighborhood.
Beyond specific issues, McCreight said, “I want to make sure everyone feels like they have a voice in Albany, especially in some of the neighborhoods that may have been neglected in the past.”
McCreight also touched on the issue of corruption — which has not only affected Albany but the district itself, with Harris pleading guilty just days after his announcement to four of 11 counts in the original indictment brought against her in January.
As it is now, he contended, bills are written often with deep-pocketed supporters in mind. With campaign finance reform, which he supports, McCreight said, that could shift so that “the needs of the people would be addressed instead of the needs of campaign donors.”
The current system, he contended, “often amounts to legalized bribery.”