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HR Clarke undaunted - Unsuccessful candidate says he’ll run again in 2010

The Brooklyn Paper
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He’s 0-2, but Harvey HR Clarke believes that, for him, three times will be the charm.

Despite his loss last week, the Mill Basin college teacher said he’s already mulling over a 2010 run against Assemblymember Alan Maisel.

“We’re not going anywhere,” Clarke, a resident of Mill Basin, said. “I congratulate Mr. Maisel for his win. I have nothing but respect for the voters. I just have to go back to the drawing board.”

During last Tuesday’s primary, Clarke received 930 votes. Maisel received 76 percent of the vote with over 3,036 people pulling the lever for him, according to unofficial numbers. Absentee ballots had not been counted as this paper went to press.

In an interview on Wednesday, Clarke said that he wasn’t going to let the defeat deter his dreams of representing the 59th Assembly District in the state legislature.

“We’re going to see where the campaign has come up short and make changes where they’re needed,” he said. “I need to make myself more known.”

Clarke was knocked off the ballot in 2006 before the primary for lack of valid signatures. This time around, he had enough signatures, but was forced to hire an attorney to defend a cursory signature challenge from Maisel’s campaign, which was ultimately dropped.

During this year’s run, Clarke focused most of his campaign on the Canarsie end of the 59th District, which also includes Gerritsen Beach, Plumb Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Bergen Beach and Georgetown.

He said that he couldn’t go to other parts of the district because he didn’t have the campaign funding.

Bernie Catcher, male Democratic district leader for the 59th Assembly District said that even though Clarke focused on Canarsie, Maisel beat him there 4 to 1.

“Clarke’s a fine gentleman, but he lost 33 of 35 election districts in Canarsie,” said Catcher, who spent some time in that end of the district on primary day. “We went to all the polling sites and everyone was telling us that they were behind Alan [Maisel]. That made me feel good.”

Catcher said that Clarke was more than welcome in preparing a run in 2010.

“Perhaps he will build up a resume and some credentials for his 2010 literature rather than the blank slate he had this year,” said Catcher.

Maisel agreed, although he doesn’t think that Clarke’s chances will improve.

“If he couldn’t beat me in 2008, he’s not going to beat me in 2010,” Maisel said.

Clarke said that while he works on his own campaign, he will be helping Canarsie merchant leader Mercedes Narcisse with her upcoming City Council campaign.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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