The nonpartisan events mean that first-time candidates and relative unknowns don’t need to work the backrooms of the established party circles looking to get a nod from the party bosses to make their way through a primary and on the to the general election ballot, where in nearly every corner of New York City a spot on the Democratic line is essentially a guaranteed victory.
And Brooklyn voters in the 45th District had the chance to send a fresh face to the City Council on Tuesday, picking a replacement for Jumaane Williams, who was elected in his own special election earlier this year to replace Letitia James as public advocate.
The voters who did show up to the polls, and we expect it was a small percentage of registered voters in the Brooklyn district, had nine – count ‘em nine! - candidates to choose from.
And while special elections are nonpartisan, having an endorsement from some political heavyweights certainly can’t hurt.
Which means the frontrunners were considered to be Monique Chandler-Waterman, who had the support of Williams, and Farah Louis, who was backed by longtime Williams ally Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte.
Both Bichotte and Chandler-Waterman are former staffers of Williams, but it’s clear which of his former employees he favors.
Williams joined Chandler-Waterman early Tuesday morning when she cast her ballot in East Flatbush, and then he was scheduled to join her for an election night party a few block away.
In case you’re curious, the other candidates in the race, in no particular order, were Victor Jordan, Rickie Tulloch, Anthony Alexis, Adina Sash, Jovia Radix, Anthony Beckford and Xamayla Rose.
There were originally eleven candidates, but Jean Similien and Hercules Reid ended their campaigns early.
So by the time you read this, Brooklyn will have a new member on the City Council. Although they shouldn’t get too comfortable in the position.
Whoever won on May 14 will get about one month to get comfortable in the office before they will have to defend the seat in the June primary should a challenger from their officially registered party emerge to run against them.
Which means if someone comes in a close second or third place, they will almost undoubtedly want to try their luck again in a traditional election with a less-crowded field.
That’s exactly what happened to Ari Espinal, who last April won a special election in Queens to replace Francisco Moya in the Assembly after he left to join the City Council. In the September primary, she lost the seat to Catalina Cruz, ending her brief stint in Albany.
And whoever emerges victorious from the primary will have to run in the general election in November if a challenger from another party throws their hat in the ring.
So all this means that voters in the 45th District will have a packed year of deciding exactly who will represent them in the City Council.
Anthony Weiner is a free man.
The disgraced former congressman who represented Brooklyn and Queens walked out of a Bronx halfway house Tuesday morning and back into civilian life.
Weiner served 21 months behind bars for sending obscene messages via text to a 15-year-old high schooler in North Carolina. Weiner was at the heart of a number of sexting scandals that eventually forced him from office, but the incident in 2017 was the first time he ran afoul of the law.
And while he is now a free man, Weiner will still have to register as a Level 1 sex offender.
But if you can’t get enough of the Anthony Weiner saga, there may be some good news for you. The one-time frontrunner for mayor of New York City is reportedly shopping a book around Manhattan’s publishing house.
So far the response has been tepid, but the project is being represented by Foundry Literary + Media, the same company that landed nonfiction book deals for New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, which is a positive development for Weiner fans, whoever that might be.