The Republicans have picked their flag bearer in the GOP’s invasion on Coney Island.
Tom McCarthy trounced Lucretia Regina-Potter by a 70 percent margin during yesterday’s intra-party battle to decide who would take on incumbent Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D–Coney Island) in November.
The race for parts of Bay Ridge and Bath Beach, and all of Dyker Heights, Coney Island, and Brighton Beach, pitted a perennial candidate against a political newcomer: Regina-Potter, a Republican district leader, lost an election against Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D–Dyker Heights) in 2008 and then a Republican primary for the same seat in 2010. McCarthy, a banker at JP Morgan Chase and treasurer of the Kings County Republican Party, has never run for office — and was wowed by his results.
“It’s a great feeling to have so many people come out and support you,” the new nominee said, crediting his win to his aggressive door-to-door and phone campaign.
Republicans predicted that McCarthy would duplicate successes achieved by Rep. Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge), Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R–Bay Ridge), Rep. Bob Turner (R–Sheepshead Bay), and State Sen. David Storobin (R–Sheepshead Bay) — all of whom won unexpected victories against Democrats in recent years.
“He’s a businessman, and he’s running on the same model that Bob Turner ran on in 2011,” said Kings County Republican Party chairman Craig Eaton. “We’re going to continue our renaissance.”
Still, McCarthy has a tough fight ahead of him. Brook-Krasny has been in office for six terms, and Republican candidate Jerry Amalfitano received a paltry 17 percent of the vote when he went against the Soviet-born emigre in 2010. Coney Island and Brighton Beach has been Democratic since 1948, when Bertram Baker took over the seat.
The Democrat also has a much bigger war chest, with $69,000 in the bank to fight the Republican challenger — more than 11 times as much as McCarthy.
McCarthy acknowledged his financial disadvantage and said he didn’t expect to match his opponent dollar for dollar.
“It’s just something we’ll have to work around,” the contender said.
Regina-Potter could not be reached for comment by our midnight deadline.