Susan Zhuang, Chief of Staff for Assemblymember William Colton, announces bid for City Council in District 43

Susan Zhuang won the won the three-way race with 58.57 percent and 2,013 votes
Susan Zhuang has declared victory in the three-way Democratic primary in District 43.
Photo courtesy of Friends of Susan Zhuang

Public servant Susan Zhuang, who currently serves as Assemblymember William Colton’s Chief of Staff, has announced her candidacy for the New York City Council in the newly-redrawn 43rd Council District.

“I am running as a common sense Democrat who intends to seek common sense solutions to critical and challenging issues that impact our daily lives,” Zhuang said during an announcement Jan. 3. “Your issues are my issues. I will be that strong voice for you.”

The southern Brooklyn district is currently represented by councilmember Justin Brannan, who has announced he will run for election in neighboring District 47, which includes more of the nabes previously included in District 43 prior to redistricting. Brannan will run against fellow councilmember Ari Kagan, who announced that he would be switching parties from Democratic to Republican in the Nov. 5 race.

council maps
The newly-redrawn District 47 (left) now includes parts of Bensonhurst and has a majority Asian-American population. NYS Redistricting & You

District 43 saw significant changes when it was redistricted last fall and now includes parts of eastern Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Gravesend. Approximately 54% of voters in the newly-drawn District 43 are Asian-American after the redistricting process added Bensonhurst, which has a high Asian American population, to the district. 

Zhuang has over 8 years of experience working with city government, working with Assemblymember Colton as a volunteer and eventually as his Chief of Staff, and has worked to help improve the quality of life of her community in Bensonhurst. Her goal, she says, is to be a public advocate for all residents in the district as well as cotinuing to work for improved public education and safety.

“Respect for all the age groups, all the languages spoken, and all the cultural traditions make us the strongest community in New York,” she said. “We need more spaces to feel safe, included, seen and heard. We need to come together to make unity in the community.”

Zhuang immigrated to the U.S. in 2007 from China and believes that her own experience navigating the community helps her connect with constituents with similar backgrounds.

She describes herself as a proud south Brooklyn resident, and Asian American working mother of two young children and a passionate community activist. So far, she has been endorsed by Colton as well as former councilmember Mark Treyger, District Leader Charles Ragusa and others.

william colton
Zhuang has spent eight years working with Assemblymember William Colton (center) as his Chief of Staff — and has already won her boss’s endorsement. File photo by Arthur de Gaeta

“Susan Zhuang has been connected with the real heartbeat of our neighborhood,” said Colton. “As a mother of two public school children, a strong Asian woman and an active, caring community leader, Susan has been involved in many community issues and causes, fighting for the needs and concerns of all our families. Our community needs more elected officials with a caring heart and a strong voice to speak up for all in the community. Susan is such a person, who will make a great New York City council member.”

The headline for this story previously said Susan Zhuang had announced her run for District 47 – not District 43. We regret the error.