They crossed party lines.
Seven candidates who have thrown their hat into the race for the seat of term-limited Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) mingled with locals at a Bay Ridge forum on May 9. The progressive and right-leaning community leaders broke bread with area oldsters at the Shore Hill housing complex and spelled out their respective platforms, which was a boon for locals wanting to cut through the social media chatter and hear straight from the contenders, said one Bay Ridgite.
“It’s great to hear from everyone all at once. It helps hear where they differ and where they agree,” said Bay Ridgite Al Caputo, who is a registered Republican and remained undecided after the forum. “There’s so many, what the kids call ‘trolls,’ on the internet — when I read about [the candidates] online I don’t know what to believe. So it was helpful. Plus, it was nice to actually meet everybody.”
Seven candidates for the 43rd District — which covers Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and a slice of Gravesend — made an appearance. The race is shaping up to be one of the most contentious and closely watched political battles in the city this fall.
On the Democratic side of the aisle, Kevin Peter Carol, Rev. Khader El-Yateem, Justin Brannan, and Nancy Tong were present, while Liam McCabe, Bob Capano, and John Quaglione represented Republicans.
The would-be politicians delved into a variety of subjects, including their neighborhood roots, building low-income housing, Southern Brooklyn’s opioid epidemic, and addressing seniors needs. It was a good primer for primary day, said another Bay Ridgite.
“I think this helped me sort out the candidates,” said Karen Brown, a registered Democrat. “Now I know everyone, and if someone on the other side wins, at least I know more about them.”
Primary day for the Council race is on Sept. 12, followed by the general election on Nov. 7.