Gov. Kathy Hochul has called a special election for May 24 in the 58th Assembly District, covering parts of East Flatbush, Brownsville, and Canarsie, after the seat was vacated by longtime rep Nick Perry.
Perry’s exit was a long time coming: he was nominated by President Joe Biden last year to serve as the American ambassador to his native Jamaica. Perry was confirmed by the United States Senate in March and vacated his seat last month, after nearly 30 years in Albany.
The governor, fresh off of passing a $220 billion state budget, praised Perry for his “illustrious” career in the Legislature, which he entered in 1993, and wished him well.
“Ambassador Nick Perry has led an illustrious career, and wish hs distinguished appointment he continues his trajectory forward. We wish him all the best in his new role as US Ambassador to Jamaica,” Hochul said in a statement. “New Yorkers deserve to be represented in the fullest capacity, and an election to fill the Ambassador’s seat is necessary to ensure their voices are heard. I look forward to working with the next elected leader and encourage the people living in the 58th District to get out and vote.”
The special election, the third for an Assembly seat in Brooklyn this year, will take place about a month before the June Democratic primary. Whoever wins on May 24 will serve until the end of the year; the winner of the June 28 primary (which may or may not be the same person) will contest the November general election and be sworn in for a full two-year term on Jan. 1, 2023.
City & State notes that Perry’s resignation on March 30 was timed conveniently to allow for a special election just ahead of the primary; had he resigned just two days later, on or after April 1, it’d be too late to trigger a special election and the seat would be left empty ahead of the primary.
The Democratic nominee for the special election will be chosen by a vote of the district’s County Committee members, and is almost certain to win given the overwhelming partisan advantage Democrats enjoy in central and eastern Brooklyn. A spokesperson for the Brooklyn Democratic Party did not respond to an inquiry by press time regarding the date of the County Committee vote.
Because Perry’s exit had been inevitable for months, a number of candidates have already thrown their hat in the ring to replace him. Perry, who was given a rousing send-off by area pols earlier this month in recognition of his decades of service, is supporting Monique Chandler-Waterman, a local activist who runs the nonprofit East Flatbush Village with her husband Eric Waterman.
Chandler-Waterman, who previously ran for City Council in 2019, also has the support of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Councilmember Mercedes Narcisse, Assemblymember Jaime Williams, and the Working Families Party.