Popular Caribbean incumbents secure wins

Council members Jumaane Williams and Mathieu Egene were re-elected
Photo by Tequila Minsky

Two popular Caribbean incumbents were victorious Tuesday in New York City Democratic Primary Elections.

Haitian Dr. Mathieu Eugene, who represents the 40th Council District in Brooklyn, and Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, representative for the adjacent 45th Council District in Brooklyn, were re-elected in the low-voter turn-out.

The winner in the Democratic Primary Elections is usually a shoo-in to win the November General Elections in New York, which votes overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party.

With 100 percent of the 104 precincts reporting, the first Haitian to ever win a seat in the City Council, received 5,414 votes, or 41 percent, in a field of three challengers.

His closest rival was Brian Christopher Cunningham, the son of Jamaican immigrants, who received 3,991 votes, or 30 percent.

ia Raymond received 2,956 votes, or 22 percent, and Jennifer Berkley, 822 votes, or six percent.

Williams won the Primary in a landslide with 100 percent of the 121 precincts reports. He received 8,588 votes, or 90 percent, to his lone challenger, Lou Cespedes, who garnered 904 votes, or 10 percent.

Renowned as “The Haitian Sensation,” Eugene said the main reason for his success is that he has dedicated his life to community service.

In Brooklyn, he has been well known and respected for more than a decade as a community leader, educator, health professional, local media personality and founder of the non-profit organization, YES (Youth Education and Sports).

Eugene said this organization, which served thousands of Brooklyn youth and their families from diverse backgrounds, promoted self-esteem, discipline, respect, and skill development in preparation for success in school and life.

Eugene said his priorities are “to ensure quality education with smaller class size, improve access to healthcare for all people, expand employment opportunities, improve public safety services and police / community relations, improve affordable housing opportunities and support immigrant rights, as well as provide strong advocacy for neighborhood preservation and homeowners.”

Williams, who currently serves as deputy leader of the New York City Council and chair of the Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings, is also co-chair of the Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence.

Tonight, we make history. I look around this room and see what’s beautiful about Brooklyn. I see the diversity.

Additionally, Williams is the founding member of the Progressive Caucus, and is a member of the Black, Latino & Asian Caucus.

Williams said he is a fervent “advocate for affordable housing, anti-gun violence measures, fair policing, equity, and social justice.”

His major successes as council member include the Community Safety Act, which created the Office of Inspector General for the New York Police Department; the Fair Chance Act and co-chairing the taskforce, which created New York’s Crisis Management System and Cure Violence Groups to combat gun violence.

In trouncing a field of five other candidates, Eric Gonzalez, who traces his roots to Puerto Rico, was triumphant in the Democratic Primary Election for Brooklyn district attorney.

With 94.4 percent of the precincts reporting, Gonzalez, who was acting Brooklyn district attorney, received 53 percent of the vote, with his closest challenger, Anne J. Swern, receiving 11.6 percent.

“I am so happy,” said Gonzalez at his victory party Tuesday night. “Tonight, we make history. I look around this room and see what’s beautiful about Brooklyn. I see the diversity.”

The Brooklyn district attorney sets policies that affect the borough’s 2.6 million residents, overseeing an office of nearly 500 prosecutors that handles almost 85,000 criminal cases a year, according to the New York Times.

In the 41st City Council District in Brooklyn, two Vincentian candidates were unsuccessful in a crowded field of nine candidates.

Moreen King, who placed fourth, received 915 votes, or nine percent, and Royston Antoine, who placed sixth, received 597 votes, or six percent, in the race that was won by Alicka Ampry-Samuel, who 3,320 votes, or 31 percent.

Other contenders in the race were: Henry Butler, 2,318 votes, or 22 percent; Jamaican American Cory Provost, 1,197 votes, or 11 percent; Deidre Olivera, 847 votes, or eight percent; Victor Jordan, 554 votes, or five percent; David Miller, 502 votes, or five percent; and Leopold Cox, 307 votes, or three percent.

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