Brannan’s chief of staff announces bid to unseat Republican in state Assembly

chris mccreight assembly
Chris McCreight, cheif of staff to City Council Member Justin Brannan, on Monday launched a campaign for Assembly District 46 against Republican Alec Brook-Krasny.
Photo by Gerry O’Brien, courtesy of Chris McCreight campaign

Chris McCreight, chief of staff to Democratic City Council Member Justin Brannan, announced on Monday he is challenging Republican Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny for his southern Brooklyn seat in this year’s general election.

McCreight wants to flip the district — Assembly District 46 — back to blue after it went Republican red in 2022 with Brook-Krasny’s win over former Democratic Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus. The district stretches from Bay Ridge to Brighton Beach and covers other neighborhoods including Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and Coney Island.

He said that under Brook-Krasny’s short tenure as the Assemblymember has starved the district of an active representative and vital resources, both of which it had when a Democrat was in office.

alec brook krasny
Brook-Krasny (pictured) was elected to the Assembly in 2022. Photo courtesy of the New York State Assembly

“The current Assemblyman is just not getting the job done,” McCreight said. “He doesn’t have an office that’s operable, he doesn’t have signs up. He’s really sort of absent in the district, not bringing any funding back — no money to schools, no money to anything in the neighborhood. It’s a big difference between what we had before, under a Democratic Assemblymember, and now with Alec.”

The Democrat’s campaign launch was first reported by City & State on Monday.

McCreight, who is also a Democratic district leader for District 46, said he has already been raising money for a while — enough to qualify for the state’s matching funds program. Additionally, he comes into the race with support from top state and city Democratic pols including US Sen. Chuck Schumer, state Attorney General Letitia James and Brannan — who chairs the council’s powerful Finance Committee.

He said there is a question of what Brook-Krasny stands for given that the Assemblymember became a Republican just two years ago, after switching from the Democratic Party.

Furthermore, he charged, Brook-Krasny has gone too far to the right for voters in the politically purple district.

“People are gonna look at Alec, and they’re gonna say, ‘what do you stand for?’” McCreight said. “There are things that he championed when he was a Democrat that now he is against. But there’s also just a question of when you are a Democrat and become a Republican, people expect you to at least be a moderate Republican. … Now he’s so far to the right that he’s voting against abortion rights, he’s voting against clean water.”

Brannan himself won against a Democrat-turned-Republican, former Council Member Ari Kagan, in a council district that covers much of the same area last November. In that contest, which was expected to be close, Brannan ended up beating Kagan by 17 percentage points.

McCreight said he believes he will have an edge with voters because Brook-Krasny has focussed his energy on right-wing culture war issues, citing an anti-LGBTQ speech he gave at a Community Board 10 meeting last June.

“He’s been in the news for attacking trans people,” McCreight said. “I don’t think your average person, whether they vote Democratic or Republican, is really okay with the idea that your representative shows up at a Community Board and that’s what they talk about. I think they’d rather have somebody who actually gets stuff done, brings funding back to the neighborhoods and is accessible.”

Brook-Krasny, for his part, told amNewYork Metro the voters would respond to McCreight’s characterizations of his tenure in November and insisted that he has served in the district for far longer than his new opponent. He previously represented the district as a Democrat between 2006 and 2015, when he resigned. 

Two years later, Brook-Krasny was arrested for healthcare fraud, but the case was later dismissed in 2019.

The Assemblymember labeled McCreight, who is a mainstream Democrat, as a “socialist” and claimed that a protest the Democrat organized against his anti-trans comments last year was out of step with 90% of district voters.

“When I left Soviet Union in 1989, I thought I would never have to deal with the socialists again,” Brook-Krasny said. “Now one of them is running against me for New York State Assembly.”

This story was originally posted on Brooklyn Paper’s sister site amNewYork