Sampson keeps seat — for now

Brooklyn Daily
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Indicted state Sen. John Sampson (D–Canarsie) won the general election by a substantial margin, despite facing trial for multiple counts of wrongdoing.

The 17-year incumbent secured nearly 86 percent of the vote — a margin far more decisive than his primary win, where he secured more than half the votes in the highly publicized four-way race which included his two opponents in Tuesday’s general election.

In the Democratic primary, Sampson defeated challengers Dell Smitherman — who had endorsements from Gov. Cuomo, Mayor DeBlasio, and the Working Families Party — Sean Henry, a former candidate for City Council, and Elias Weir, who ran against Sampson in 2012.

Weir ran in the general election on the Conservative Party line, getting more than eight percent of the vote, and Smitherman ran i on the Working Families Party line, garnering under six percent of the vote.

The Kings County Democratic Party — led by Canarsie resident Frank Seddio — endorsed Sampson, along with former Borough President Marty Markowitz.

But the incumbent can’t celebrate quite yet — he still has to face his legal battle. The senator was facing a 10-count indictment for charges of embezzlement and lying to federal investigators. But the New York Times recently reported that a federal judge dismissed two embezzlement charges because the incidents were past the statute of limitations.

When Sampson is in court next year, he will still face charges of concealing records, lying to investigators, obstructing justice, and witness tampering.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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