MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica May 16, 2022 - The new minted United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Nick Perry, having presented his credentials to the Governor General last week, will no doubt be keeping more than one eye on the election for his successor in the 58th Assembly District which he represented prior to his appointment.
Early voting for his replacement got underway on Saturday, following a proclamation issued by New York Governor Kathy Hochul, declaring that the Special Election to fill the 58th Assembly District seat vacated by Perry would be held on May 24.
the Jamaican born Perry, who for almost three decades represented the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, has thrown his support behind the Democratic nominee, community activist Monique Chandler-Waterman, the daughter of Jamaican and Barbadian immigrants, to succeed him.
Early voting in that poll runs from Saturday May 14 through Election Day May 24.
“We’re on the path to victory, and, with your help, we’ll get Monique over the finish line,” said Chandler-Waterman in a message to potential voters on Friday.”
She said her story is “one of service – as a public servant, advocate and activist,” pointing to her work in the offices of Nick Perry; former New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, now New York City Public Advocate; and on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in the New York City Test & Trace Corps.
A lifelong resident of the Brooklyn neighborhoods of East Flatbush, Canarsie, Crown Heights and Brownsville, Chandler-Waterman said her record of activism spans two decades and her “tireless, community-first approach” has been a theme throughout her life, forming multiple block associations and founding a nonprofit.
In addition, Chandler-Waterman said, as an activist, she has been working to reduce crime and boost public safety.
On Friday, Chandler-Waterman’s campaign was endorsed by two large New York City teachers’ unions. “I welcome the members of the United Federation of Teachers and the New York State United Teachers to this campaign, and could not be prouder to have their support,” she said.
Chandler-Waterman said these “strong teachers’ unions” join Perry, Williams, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, Haitian-born New York City Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse, African American Councilwoman Darlene Mealy, Trinidadian-born Assemblywoman Jaime Williams, the Working Families Party, and many other labor unions and groups in endorsing her.
“Monique Chandler-Waterman is a proven leader, and I know she’ll be a strong representative in Albany for the people of the 58th Assembly District,” said Reynoso in his endorsement. “Over the years, I’ve known Monique, I’ve seen her dedication to public service and aiding the most vulnerable members of our community.
“I know she’ll continue that work in the legislature, and that is why I am proud to endorse her run for the State Assembly,” he added.
In the meantime, New York’s Mayor Eric Adams has endorsed the third party candidacy of Hercules Reid, snubbing the Democratic Nominee Monique Chandler-Waternam.
Reid, who also claims to trace his roots to Jamaica, served as an aide to Adams while he was Brooklyn borough president, is campaigning as an independent candidate in the May 24 special election to represent the 58th Assembly District, which spans parts of East Flatbush, Brownsville and Canarsie.
Adams, who has recently struggled to advance some of his policy priorities in the state Legislature, offered the endorsement of the ex-staffer, Hercules Reid, during a press conference in Brooklyn’s East Flatbush neighborhood.
“Hercules is not new to this; he is true to this,” the mayor said in East Flatbush, praising Reid’s “undying support” of Brooklyn residents during the COVID-19 pandemic when working for him as a borough president staffer.
“You don’t have to go into the biblical text to understand we have our own Hercules. We have our own strong man, we have a person who will bring that strength to Albany,” the mayor added, appearing to conflate the Roman adaption of a hero in Greek mythology with the Bible. “We need partners like Hercules. Hercules Reid is the right person to lead the city and the state in the right direction.”
Reid said he’s honored to have the seal of approval from Adams, whom he called “a longtime friend and mentor.”
“Honestly, I’m not running just to run,” Reid said. “I’m actually running to turn over the tables, to kick down the doors and to throw out the trash because we are tired of business as usual.”
A report from the New York Daily News quoted a Democratic elected official in Brooklyn as saying Adams’ Reid boost is not going to do him any favors with lawmakers in the State Capitol.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of angering the mayor, said the third-party endorsement sends a problematic message as Adams scrambles to get Democrats in the state Legislature to act on his policy requests, including his last-minute push for extending mayoral control of the city’s public schools.
“With two weeks left in session, the mayor should be up in Albany getting stuff done, not playing local politics,” the official told the Daily News. “Everyone in Albany is watching. Every day he isn’t up here is another count against him.”