Your guide to the Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, and Bath Beach Council race

Nine candidates are vying for the major-party lines on the November ballot to replace term-limited Councilman Vincent Gentile and represent Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights on the Council. Five Democrats and four Republicans are going head to head in the Sept. 12 primary. Here’s a rundown:


Justin Brannan

• Married, lives in Bay Ridge, no children.

• Previously toured in a punk band to more than 50 countries and across five continents; currently owns a children’s art school in Bay Ridge with his wife.

• Previously worked as chief of staff to Councilman Gentile and spent two years as the deputy director of intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Education.

Kevin Peter Carroll

• Unmarried, lives in Bay Ridge, no children.

• Made history in 2010 when he became Brooklyn’s youngest-elected state committeeman as the District Leader of the 60th District, re-elected to lead newly drawn 64th District two years later.

• Worked as staffer to Councilman Stephen Levin (D–Brooklyn Heights) since January 2011 before taking a leave of absence to campaign.

Vince Chirico

• Married, lives in Dyker Heights, one daughter and one son.

• Emigrated to the U.S. with his family at seven years old and has never been elected to public office; spent his career working as a lawyer instead.

• Member of Community Board 11 for more than 20 years, serves as chairman of the Committee on Health, Social Services and Seniors and previously served on the Committee on Law, Public Safety, and Transportation.

Rev. Khader El-Yateem

• The Palestinian-born pastor of Salam Arabic Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge, lives in Dyker Heights, married with three daughters and son.

• Would become the city and state’s first Arab-American elected official.

• Backed by the Democratic Socialists of America and was inspired by Bernie Sanders, but did not vote for him in the 2016 primary.

Nancy Tong

• Married, one son, lives in Bensonhurst.

• District leader for the 47th Assembly District, lives outside of the 43rd Council district, but pledged to move if she wins the primary.

• Worked for Assemblyman Bill Colton (D–Bensonhurst) for the last eight years.

• Would become Brooklyn’s first Asian-American elected.


Bob Capano

• Married and lives in Bay Ridge, no children.

• Manager of a Gristedes supermarket and adjunct professor of political science, he ran for the same seat in 2009.

• He previously worked for Democratic former Borough President Marty Markowitz and Rep. Bob Turner (R–Brooklyn).

• Already guaranteed a spot on the ballot in November as the Reform Party candidate.

Liam McCabe

• Recently popped the question to his girlfriend and is now engaged, lives in Bay Ridge and has two sons.

• Worked for Rep. Dan Donovan (R–Bay Ridge) and his predecessor Rep. Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge), before resigning to work as an Uber driver while campaigning.

• Originally a registered Democrat, he switched to the Conservative Party after becoming friends with state party chairman Mike Long when he worked in his Fifth Avenue liquor store.

John Quaglione

• Married, lives in Bay Ridge, two daughters.

• Joined state Sen. Marty Golden’s staff in 1998 and worked as his deputy chief of staff and press secretary until taking a leave of absence on Aug. 1.

• Interned in the U.S. House of Representatives and with NBC’s “Meet the Press” while studying political science in college.

Lucretia Regina-Potter

• Married, lives in Bath Beach, two daughters.

• Owns Bari Tile and Ceramics in Bensonhurst, where she works as a design consultant.

• Republican district leader of the 46th District, ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for the 46th District Assembly in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

The Issues

There are several hot-button issues in the 43rd Council District, including illegal home conversions, the possible arrival of Citi Bike in parking-bereft Bay Ridge, trash-collection problems on private streets, an increase in homelessness, and the opioid epidemic.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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