Jabari Brisport, a public school teacher and insurgent socialist candidate, has declared victory in Brooklyn’s 25th Senate District Democratic primary after the absentee ballot count extended his lead by over 10,000 votes against Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright.
With the general election all but decided in the one-party district spanning Bedford-Stuyvesant, Prospect Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Clinton Hill, Carroll Gardens and other deep-blue neighborhoods, Brisport is expected to become the first openly gay person of color to join the State Senate when he fills the seat vacated by veteran legislator Velmanette Montgomery.
“This victory is about the movement to build a New Y0rk that works for the working class and for people of color,” Brisport said Thursday. “It was built by over 1,000 volunteers who donated their time and energy to this fight in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, and small donors who contributed in record-breaking numbers.”
In a brief email to supporters, Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright, who despite the backing of Montgomery and the Brooklyn Democratic Party finished second, admitted to trailing in the ballot count, but did not officially concede.
“This was an unprecedented campaign season: COVID-19, sheltering in place, protest, and social distancing,” Wright said. “No one could have prepared for this, nonetheless our team remained steadfast through the challenges.”
Brisport’s victory is just the latest for upstart insurgents in Brooklyn, after a spate of losses for incumbents and establishment candidates throughout the city. In Sunset Park, tenant organizer Marcela Mitaynes unseated 26-year incumbent Felix Ortiz, while upstart Emily Gallagher dethroned Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, who has been in office since the Nixon administration, and socialist field nurse Phara Souffrant Forrest ousted Assemblyman Walter Mosley.
“New Yorkers overwhelmingly voted for a progressive future this primary,” said Sumathy Kumar, a co-chair of the New York Democratic Socialists of America. “The strength of our movement has never been clearer.”