Zellnor Myrie vs. Jesse Hamilton
State Sen. Jesse Hamilton is heading into this year’s general election on the back foot, after Democratic voters punished the two-term incumbent for caucusing with Republicans as a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, awarding the blue party’s nomination to political newcomer Zellnor Myrie in September’s primary. Now, despite enjoying the full backing of the Kings County Democratic machine, Hamilton has fallen back to running on the Women’s Equality and Independence parties’ lines as he seeks to defend his seat in the state’s 20th Senate District, which includes Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brownsville, and Sunset Park.
• Assumed office in 2015 after Eric Adams, for whom he had previously served as counsel, vacated the seat to become Borough President the year before.
• Signed up with the Independent Democratic Conference in 2016, caucusing with Republicans until the group of rogue Dems disbanded in April.
• Including Hamilton, six of the eight former Independent Democratic Conference members were defeated in the September primary.
• Brooklyn-born son of a Costa Rican mother, whose father is a 17-year special-education teacher and member of the United Federation of Teachers.
• Despite running on a progressive platform, Myrie served as legislative director for one of Council’s most conservative members, Fernando Cabrera, who supported Ugandan anti-gay laws in 2014.
• Graduated Cornell Law School, and currently works as an associate at Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP, a private law firm in Manhattan.
• Affordable housing.
• Social justice.
• Improved education.