Your 2016 state primary guide

Kate Cucco
Brooklyn Daily
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State Primary Day is Tuesday, Sept. 13, and Courier Life is bringing you the low-down on the races to watch — from Bay Ridge to Canarsie and everything in between. If your favored elected (or challenger) is not on here, it’s because he or she is not facing an opponent on Primary Day. So familiarize yourself with the field, and don’t forget to vote on Tuesday.

42nd Assembly District Democratic

Freshman Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte is once again facing teacher and economist Victor A. Jordan in the for the seat covering Flatbush, Ditmas Park, Midwood, and parts of East Flatbush.

Rodneyse Bichotte

• Unmarried, she lives in Flatbush and is expecting her first child mid-January

• The Brooklyn-born, Haitian Creole speaker is the first Haitian-American woman elected into office in New York City.

• Elected in 2014, she introduced 22 pieces of legislation in her first session and four of which became.

Victor A. Jordan

• Community Board 17 member since 2010 and Education Committee chairman.

• Unmarried, lives on the Flatbush-Midwood border, one daughter.

• Trade economist for Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Trade, taught at Erasmus High School.


• Housing has emerged as a major issue, with both hopefuls focusing on the need for more affordable housing in the working- and middle-class district. Bichotte has stressed residential construction as an opportunity for the city to engage minority- and women-owned businesses. Jordan has focused on the need for apartments for the elderly.

Our prediction:

Bichotte beat Jordan in the 2014 primary — albeit in a four-way contest. She snapped up more than 2,700 votes — almost as many votes as the other three contestants combined — while Jordan got just shy of 350. And this time, she has more name recognition and the benefits of incumbency, so we’re betting on Bichotte.

46th Assembly District Democratic

Freshman Assemblywoman Pamela Harris is battling longtime politico Kate Cucco for the seat that meanders from Bay Ridge down to Coney Island and Sea Gate. The pair faced off last year, but Harris emerged successful when the party nominated her in a special election. But the race is symbolic of a larger struggle between Bay Ridge and Coney Island political clubs vying against one another for control of southwestern Brooklyn.

Pamela Harris

• Married, lives in Coney Island, no children.

• Retired corrections officer and community organizer.

• First black candidate in the city to win in a majority-white district.

Katie A. Cucco

• Unmarried, lives in Bay Ridge, no children.

• Former chief of staff to Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, who stepped down in 2015.

• Boyfriend Jonathan Yedin is the former executive director of the Brooklyn Democratic County Committee.


• Harris has fought off accusations she’s too cozy with the non-profit she founded before taking office and which operated out of her home while she was in Albany.

• Critics have questioned Cucco’s politic because she interviewed to run on the Conservative party line last year.

• The Bay Ridge–Coney Island district hasn’t had a rep from the Ridge since the 1940s, and Cucco says she wants to amplify neighborhood’s’s voice in Albany.

Our prediction:

Too close to call. Harris and Cucco both vied for the nomination in last year’s special election to replace Brook-Krasny, but it’s not clear how voters would have ranked them, because the county committee hand-picks nominees in special elections, and it went with Harris. But the battle lines are drawn with Bay Ridge on one side and Coney Island on the other — it’s all about who can get out the vote on primary day.

19th State Senate District Democratic

The race in the 19th is a struggle between the party-favored incumbent Roxanne Persaud and perennial also-ran Mercedes Narcisse — a former ally of the county machine who broke from it after a falling-out with party boss Frank Seddio. Both are of Caribbean descent, but Narcisse represents a growing bloc of West Indian pols allied with East New York Assemblyman Charles Barron and Councilwoman Inez Barron seeking to shake up the county party and take hold of the seat, which spans Bergen Beach, Canarsie, East New York, Mill Basin, and parts of Brownsville, Sheepshead Bay, and Marine Park.

Roxanne Persaud

• Unmarried, lives in Canarsie, no children

• Former member of Community Board 18 and the 69th Precinct Community Council

• Was elected to Assembly in 2014 and served one year before winning a special election in the 19th State Senate District in 2015

Mercedes Narcisse

• Divorced, lives in Canarsie, five children

• Nurse, business owner, and community activist

• Seddio is godfather to one of her children


• Narcisse is promising to politically activate and empower Caribbean residents in the district who she says the county machine has been oppressing.

• Persaud hopes to improve police-community relations in the majority-black district.

• Members of the county party have attacked Narcisse for failing to file campaign finance disclosures outlining where her funding is coming from and what she is spending it on. The hopeful was months late on some submissions and did not make her finances publicly assessable until Sept. 6 — after a judge ordered her to do so.

Our prediction:

Persaud will win this one. She enjoys the benefits of incumbency and the county’s backing via an endorsement from Seddio’s Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club. Narcisse, who has also taken on club-backed candidates for Council, has not proven her get-out-the-vote campaign can take on the Kings County machine.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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