Although the official results for the 46th District Democratic Assembly Primary will not be released until Thursday, Sept. 27, the unofficial final tabulation for the closely watched race finds Mathylde Frontus, who holds a Ph.D. in public policy from Columbia University, the winner of the hotly contested primary.
With 55 more votes than opponent Ethan Lustig-Elgrably, City Councilmember Mark Treyger has acknowledged Frontus as the winner of the razor-thin primary race that took place on Thursday, Sept. 13. On Friday night, Treyger and Councilmember Justin Brannan offered Frontus their congratulations on her pending victory.
“I applaud Dr. Frontus and her team on a hard-fought win,” Brannan told this paper. “This is proof that every single vote counts – especially in local elections. So the next time someone says they don’t even bother voting because they don’t see how their one vote can make a difference, tell them about Dr. Frontus, who just won by 50-something votes! I look forward to working hard to help Dr. Frontus win decisively in November and calling her a colleague come January. There is much to be done.”
Defying all odds, Frontus succeeded in defeating Lustig-Elgrably without the support of elected officials and Democratic leaders within the 46th Assembly District, which includes Bay Ridge, Coney Island, Dyker Heights and Brighton Beach.
Frontus succeeds former Assemblymember Pamela Harris, who stepped down earlier this year, after being charged with defrauding various government entities of tens of thousands of dollars in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Harris pleaded guilty in June to wire fraud, making false statements to FEMA and witness tampering in connection.
For the past week Frontus, who lives in Coney Island, had maintained a 70-vote lead over Lustig-Elgrably, with approximately 10 percent of the polling places failing to report the results. According to reports, the scanners and flash drives that preserve the information at the polling places in question were blank. The precincts that failed to report were from the Coney Island portion of the district.
Further complicating matters was a letter that NYCHA sent out telling residents at the Marlboro Houses, in Gravesend near the border of Coney Island, to stay home on Sept. 13 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a home inspection, hindering some from being able to go out and vote.
A NYCHA representative told this paper that these inspections were standard procedure and that they were made in order to inspect apartments for lead. When asked at the time why they would schedule the inspections on primary day, the NYCHA rep could not answer.
“After a week of waiting for results, I was thrilled to finally hear the news on Friday that I won my primary race,” Frontus told this paper.” I am eager to now focus on the general election and continuing to bring my platform of unity, affordable housing, senior services, government accountability and funding our public schools across the district to voters.”
Frontus will face Republican Steve Saperstein in the general election on Nov. 6.