Caribbean candidates win in general elections

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams speaks at a rally against Asian hate crime following the May 31, 2021 unprovoked attack on another Asian person, a 55-year-old woman, in Manhattan's Chinatown district in New York City, U.S. June 2, 2021.
REUTERS/Mike Segar, file

Several Caribbean candidates who were victorious in June’s Democratic Primary romped to victory Tuesday night in the general elections in the heavily-Democratic New York City.

 New York City Public Advocate, Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, was re-elected, as well as New York City Council Member, Farah Louis, the daughter of Haitian immigrants.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who traces his roots to Jamaica, was also re-elected.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales, the son of Puerto Ricans, ran unopposed.

Crystal Hudson, the granddaughter of Jamaican immigrants, and Haitian-born Rita Joseph and Mercedes Narcisse were elected to New York City Council for the very first time.

“You gave me your trust, and your voice when you put me in this role, and I work every day to live up to that trust, to raise your voice,” Williams, 45, told campaign supporters at a rally in Brooklyn Tuesday night.

“I will never take that for granted — no matter where I go, no matter what I do,” added Williams, who is also eyeing a run for Governor of New York next year.

With 92.92 percent of the precincts reporting, Williams, who describes himself as an activist politician, received 68.47 percent of the votes.

City Council Member Farah Louis at City Hall. Office of Council Member Farah N. Louis

Devi Elizabeth Nampiaparampil, running as a Republican and on the Save Our City line, received 23.33 percent of the votes; Anthony Herbert (Conservative and Independent) received 6.73 percent; and Devin W. Balkind (Libertarian Party) received 1.32 percent.

Earlier, Williams said New York City “needs a Public Advocate who can effectively be an activist elected official, with more than just politics, bringing the voice of everyday New Yorkers into the halls of government.

“I pledge to continue to combine activism and legislation to help make our city a truly progressive beacon, and fight for a just and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Williams, who has already established an exploratory committee for the governor’s race.

That race is already getting more competitive, with New York State Attorney General Letitia James announcing last week her candidacy.

Other possible contenders are New York City’s outgoing Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Long Island Congressman Thomas Suozzi.

The candidates will be hoping to unseat incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul, who succeeded former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who resigned earlier this year amid a blistering report by James, accusing him of sexual harassment against 11 women and the alleged creation of a toxic work environment.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards speaks at the candlelight vigil for Haitian earthquake victims. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

With the unofficial results, incumbent Richards Tuesday night was enjoying a very handsome lead over his Republican challenger for Queens Borough President.

Richards has received 160,081 votes, or 65,8 percent, with 79.01 percent reporting (1133/1434), to Thomas Zmich’s 83,051 votes, or 34.2 percent.

In the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, Louis won by a mammoth landslide, securing 17,933 votes, or 94.3 percent, to Independent Louis Cespedes’ 1,078 votes. Eighty-seven, or 71.9 percent, of 121 precincts, have reported results.

“I am thankful to the constituents of Council District 45 for their incredible support and for believing in our vision for the future of our city,” Louis told Caribbean Life Tuesday night. “We will continue fighting for affordable housing and education to be a right, not a privilege.

“We will continue combatting domestic violence and sexual harassment, to leave a bright future for our young women in this city,” she added. “We envision a system which is both sustainable and long-lasting, and will work hard to deliver.”

Louis said her motivation for running for re-election was her dedication to seeing the continued growth of the overwhelmingly Caribbean 45th Council District in the Flatbush and East Flatbush sections of Brooklyn.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she said business owners, homeowners, students and community members face “different challenges.”

“I will stand at the forefront for equity and justice,” the council member affirmed.

Crystal Hudson. Crystal Hudson’s campaign

In the 35th Council District in Brooklyn, Hudson also won by a massive landslide.

With 97.78 percent of precincts reporting (132/135), Hudson received 27,330, or 95.1 percent, to Independent Regina Kinsey’s 1,396, or 4.9 percent.

In making history as the first openly gay Black woman to be elected to the City Council, Hudson told Caribbean Life that “this community made me who I am, and I am honored to have the opportunity to represent my neighbors on the City Council.”

She said that, over the past year, her campaign built “a broad, diverse coalition of support from every corner of this district” — from dozens of labor unions and progressive leaders to New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents and religious leaders.

“I’m so grateful for the support of hundreds of volunteers who knocked on doors and connected with voters about our vision for a stronger, more equitable New York, and to every voter who made their voice heard in this election,” Hudson said.

“I know and love this community deeply, and, as the granddaughter of Jamaican immigrants, a caregiver who has navigated our complicated healthcare system, the daughter of a nurse, and a Black, queer New Yorker, I will fight even harder for historically marginalized people to have a seat at the table,” she added.

“Our community is hurting from this pandemic, and, more than ever, we need our leaders to step up and advocate for real relief for working families, immigrants, frontline workers, small business owners, and the low-income communities of color that were hit hardest this year,” the activist politician continued. “From the start, this campaign was rooted in love and principles of justice, equity and dignity for all; and that’s exactly how I plan to lead on the Council.

“I’m so proud of our victory today and ready to fight for our vision of truly affordable housing for all, meaningful criminal justice reform, equitable schools, investment in Black and brown communities, and a fair recovery from COVID-19 that sets us on a stronger path forward,” Hudson said. “Let’s get to work.”

Rita Joseph, candidate running for the Council District 40. Marc Baptiste Photography

In the 40th Council District, which also includes parts of Flatbush and East Flatbush in Brooklyn, school teacher Rita Joseph also registered a landslide victory over her Haitian Republican compatriot Constantine Jean-Pierre.

With 88.46 percent of precincts reporting (92/104), Joseph received 18,631 votes, or 93.1 percent, to Jean-Pierre’s 1,373 votes, or

6.9 percent.

“In the past years, policy decisions have been made for working people, not with us,” Joseph said on Election Day. “I’m running to change that and be your voice.”

She also said that “Black Lives Matter, housing is a human right, and every child deserves a world-class education.”

With all of the precincts (115/115) reporting in the 46th Council District in Brooklyn, encompassing parts of Canarsie, Mill Basin and Marine Park, among others, Registered Nurse Narcisse resoundingly trounced her Republican challenger, Donald Cranston.

Narcisse received 15,914 votes, or 62.8 percent, to Cranston’s 9,408 votes, or 37.2 percent.

Narcisse said she ran for the 46th District “because I believe the Council has failed to ensure safe communities, support small businesses and provide superior educational opportunities — all of which have been worsened by the city’s lacking response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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