Coney Island Assembly seat may be up for grabs

It’s a hot seat!

In the wake of Coney Island Assemblywoman Pamela Harris’s fall from grace last week when the Feds slapped her with charges for stealing money from city and federal storm-recovery agencies to fund her lavish lifestyle, a few names have circulated as to who would replace her if she decides — at the urging of her own constituents — to step down.

Harris’s previous Democratic primary challenger Kate Cucco put up a strong fight when she ran against her in 2016, and may consider trying again, according to Kings County Politics. A few other local politico’s names have also been floated as competitors for the seat once held by the also-indicted former Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny — including Republican Lucretia Regina-Potter, who predicted Harris’s eventual demise, and Chris McCreight, who once ran for the district’s unpaid position of District Leader and resigned from his gig at Trump Village to take a job as Bay Ridge Councilman Justin Brannan’s chief of staff, according to Kings County Politics.

State Sen. Marty Golden’s (R-Bay Ridge) challenger Andrew Gounardes was also mentioned, since he lives in the district. But the Bay Ridge Democrats member, who recently announced he’s raised $114,349 for his state senator campaign, but the kibosh on those rumors, reaffirming his goal to oust the Ridge’s Republican lawmaker, whom Gounardes accuses of preventing much-needed change.

“People asked me if I wanted to run for [Harris’s seat] but I made it very clear, my focus is entirely running for state Senate, where progress is blocked in New York by Marty Golden time and time again,” said Gounardes, who will also face Bay Ridge journalist Ross Barkan in a Democratic primary. Barkan has $67,105 in his own campaign coffers.

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A handful of Brooklyn pols took their places on Council’s 13-person leadership team after the newly elected Council Speaker Councilman Corey Johnson (D–Manhattan) tapped them to head committees.

Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island), a former teacher, is the chairman of the education Committee, Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay) heads the veterans committee, Councilman Antonio Reynoso chairs the sanitation committee, and Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Midwood) leads the workforce equity task force.

Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (D–Crown Heights) is now the second-most-powerful pol in the legislative body as its Majority Leader, and Councilman Robert Cornegy (D–Bedford-Stuyvesant), who didn’t give up his fight to become the city’s first black speaker until the bitter end, was named chairman of the Democratic majority.

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And Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Midwood) threw his hat in the ring to become Gov. Cuomo’s right hand man when he announced his campaign for Lieutenant Governor on Monday, following rumors that he was actually mulling a run to oust Cuomo himself.

During a keynote address at a Brooklyn church on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, Williams said the people of New York need to be represented by people who look like them, citing the striking lack of diversity in the top city, state, and nation leadership.

“If you look at who represents us in government from the federal level on down — the President, Vice President, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Comptroller, Mayor, City Comptroller and Speaker of the City Council — they all have one thing in common,” said Williams, who already has $8,900 in his campaign coffers. “That lack of diversity means many of us are not represented in the highest offices of government in the State of New York.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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