Political novice wins Dem nod for Coney Assembly seat in primary upset

Too close to call: Mathylde Frontus currently holds an infinitesimal, 70-vote lead over Ethan Lustig-Elgrably, but many of the precincts in the 46th Assembly District have still not reported full results.
Mathylde Frontus

It’s officially an upset.

Outsider candidate Mathylde Frontus beat out establishment-backed Ethan Lustig-Elgrably for the Democratic nomination for the 46th Assembly district — which includes Coney Island and Sea Gate as well as parts of Bath Beach, Bay Ridge, and Dyker Heights — by a mere 51 votes, according to certified results released today by the State Board of Elections.

The newly crowned nominee told this paper she was glad to get official confirmation of her win in the Sept. 13 primary after a weeks-long delay, adding that she was now focused on winning the seat in next month’s general election.

“After weeks of uncertainty, it’s good to finally receive word that I won the Democratic primary,” Frontus said. “I am excited about moving forward toward the general election and hope that I will be able to represent this district that I love in the coming year.”

The nominee received 3,792 votes to Lustig-Elgrably’s 3,741, according to certified results from the City Board of Elections.

Frontus’s win was an upset, since Lustig-Elgrably had the backing of his former boss Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island), Borough President Adams, and other local party leaders. The first-time politician is an adjunct professor at the Columbia University and New York University schools of social work and the founder of the Urban Neighborhood Services organization and the Coney Island Anti-Violence Collaborative.

Lustig-Elgrably thanked his supporters in a statement, adding that he will support Frontus’s general-election campaign, and that he would continue to advocate for the neighborhood.

“While this is not the result we were hoping for, I fully support Dr. Mathylde Frontus and it is imperative that we keep this seat blue,” he said. “From our schools to our seniors to our rights to our quality of life, there is so much at stake in this election. We must work hard to protect our community, and I will never give up my quest to keep Southern Brooklyn a great place to live.”

The State Board of Elections did not release the official results of the race until more than two weeks after the primary and had not even updated its website as of press time on Oct. 1.

Frontus will go on to face Republican candidate Steve Saperstein in the Nov. 6 general election.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

More from Around New York