Special election for 59th Assembly seat is today

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The battle between presidential hopefuls isn’t the only one playing out in Canarsie today.

Voters will select their next state representative in a special election in the 59th Assembly District between Republican real estate broker Jeffrey Ferretti and Democratic politico Jaime Williams during today’s presidential primary.

Williams, who has outpaced her rival in fund-raising and earning area politicians’ support, nonetheless faces a tough election, because Republicans will hit the polls in droves to help pick their party’s presidential nominee, one Democratic leader said.

“I’m concerned Democrats might not take the primary seriously and then won’t come out to vote as much as they need to,” Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman and Williams supporter Frank Seddio told Kings County Politics. “Believe me though, every Republican is going to come out and vote. Even though in the 59th District there are seven-and-a-half Democrats for every two-and-a-half Republicans, in every state so far in the primaries, 90 percent of the Republicans are coming out.”

Ferretti owns National Brokerage Real Estate in Mill Basin. He cobbled together just $1,100.00 in donations, including $500 from the Realtors Political Action Committee of New York, according to campaign finance documents.

Williams is a former chief of staff to state Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D–Canarsie) and received endorsements from Persaud, Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Marine Park), and Seddio’s Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club. She had $14,377.17 on hand as of April 18, campaign filings show.

Persaud beat out Ferretti for the assembly seat by a landslide in 2014 and then bested him again in a 2015 race to replace disgraced state Sen. John Sampson.

The winner faces re-election in November.

The election is today. The district covers Canarsie, Mill Basin, Marine Park, and Gerritsen Beach. Polls are open from 6 am to 9 pm. Here’s how to find your polling place.

Reach deputy editor Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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