Parker wins heated Democratic Primary

Kevin Parker
Sen. Kevin Parker, D- Brooklyn, during a news conference at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y.
Associated Press / Hans Pennink, file

State Sen. Kevin Parker on Tuesday won the Democratic Primary in the 21st Senate District in the heart of the Caribbean community in Central Brooklyn, beating back a stiff challenge from David Alexis.

With 95 percent of the precincts reporting, Parker, who has represented the district since 2003, garnered 8,061 votes, or 46 percent, to Alexis’s 6,626 votes, or 38 percent.

The other contender, Kaegan Mays-Williams, received 2,844 votes, or 16 percent.

“I want to thank the voters of the 21st District for sending me back to Albany to keep fighting for a fairer and more equitable Brooklyn,” Parker told Caribbean Life shortly he was declared the winner.

“At the end of the day, the voters of the 21st District chose to keep a fighter for progress in Albany,” he added. “I’d like to thank my incredible team for bringing home the win.”

The 21st District 21 incorporates parts of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace and Park Slope.

The district overlaps with New York’s 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th congressional districts, and with the 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 51st, 52nd, 57th, 58th and 59th districts of the New York State Assembly.

With almost 100 laws passed, Parker said on the campaign trail that he is committed to equity for all New Yorkers.

Elected to the New York State Senate in 2002, Parker said on that he has gained the distinction of being the first freshman senator to sit on the Finance Committee, a position he still holds today.

Nineteen years later, the nine-term senator is the fourth most senior member of the State Senate.

Parker said his seniority has allowed him to become a trail-blazing leader on issues pertaining to communities of color.

In his capacity as Majority Whip, he said he was “twice instrumental in flipping the Senate from Republican to Democratic control in 2009 and 2019.”

As an elder statesman, Parker holds assignments as the chair of the Energy and Telecommunications Committee, and member of the Finance, Banks, Insurance, Internet and Technology, Higher Education, and Rules committees.

Over the years, Parker has emerged as one of the more prolific lawmakers in the history of the Senate.

With 480 active bills, the senator said he holds “the high distinction of sponsoring the most legislation introduced in the Senate.”

Moreover, Parker has passed 91 bills into New York State law over the course of his time in office.

At the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, the Brooklyn lawmaker said he sponsored legislation that barred utility companies from “shutting off customers’ service due to non-payment resulting from financial hardship during the pandemic.”

The utility moratorium legislation was signed into law on Jun. 17, 2020, and protected over 700,000 households or roughly 2 million New Yorkers who owe collectively more than $966 million to energy utilities from service interruptions, Parker said.

He said another one of his milestone pieces of legislation making Juneteenth (June 19) an official state holiday was signed into law on Oct. 14, 2020.

Parker said he has delivered numerous other legislative results for New Yorkers, including creating a body camera program for the New York State Police, stopping aggressive real estate solicitation in Brooklyn, and declaring racism as a public health crisis in the State of New York.

He said the impact of his “proven leadership” is not just felt in Albany but also in his district.

Parker said community-centered events are “annual staples, which have stretched beyond the borders” of his district as people look to his office for “everything from flu shots in the winter, job fairs in the summer and school supplies in the Fall.

For the past 18 years, Parker said his annual “A Shared Dream Martin Luther King Jr. Day Concert” has been “one of the most attended events in the city on that day.”

In addition, he said his annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway event is in its 19th year and Christmas Toy Giveaway in its 18th year.

The senator’s constituents’ services also extend to annual health screenings, like mammograms and citizenship drives, in conjunction with community-based organizations.

Parker said his impact was felt at the national level when he went on record as the first African American elected official to endorse the Presidential candidacy of then US Sen. Barack Obama in 2008.

He said he repeated that “political heroism” with a similar endorsement of incumbent Vice President Kamala Harris.

With Tuesday’s victory, Parker said he is committed to continue working with all communities in his district to realize his ultimate aim of “ensuring adequate representation for all New Yorkers.”

In other notable primary races on Tuesday, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries trounced Queen Johnson, winning by a landslide in the 8th Congressional District.

Jeffries received 22,196 votes, or 87 percent, to Johnson’s 3,214 votes, or 13 percent.

In a major political come-back for a defeated congressman, former congressman Max Rose handsomely romped to victory in the newly-constituted 11th Congressional District, hammering Brittany Debarros and Komi Agoda-Koussema.

Rose received 15,871 votes, or 75 percent, to Debarros’s 4,399 votes, or 21 percent, and Agoda-Koussema’s 899 votes, or 4 percent.

But, perhaps, the biggest news Tuesday night was the bitter and ugly race between two veteran congressional representatives – Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney – for the newly-drawn 12th Congressional District.

With 95 percent of the precinct’s reporting, Nadler secured 45,545, or 55 percent, to Maloney’s 20,038 votes, or 24 percent.

The other contenders were Suraj Patel, who received 15,744 votes, or 19 percent, and Ashmi Sheth, who got 832 votes, or 1 percent.

Democratic Primary winners will still face Republican contenders in November’s General Election.

General Election is scheduled for Nov. 8, with early voting running from Oct. 29 to Nov. 6. 2022.

Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Assemblywoman, Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn said the party “rallied Democrats across the borough to get our voices heard during the pivotal Congressional and Senatorial primaries.

“We congratulate the apparent Democratic Primary winners across Brooklyn and respect those who may have fallen short but took part in the electoral process that’s vital for our democracy,” the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life Tuesday night.

She said voter turnout was “greater than expected, especially considering the fact that voters had an unprecedented second primary in the dog days of summer.

“Now, we turn our efforts towards the General Elections to keep Brooklyn – and the nation – Blue in November,” Bichotte Hermelyn added.

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