Donald Cranston. (Image: Campaign)
Donald Cranston, a former staffer for various government agencies who placed fourth in the June Democratic primary for the 46th Council District, says he will run in the general election for the seat on the Republican and Conservative Party Lines.
Cranston made the announcement in a social media post late Tuesday night.
“As many of you know, I recently ran a strong campaign as a moderate in the 46th Council District in the Democratic primary, but despite my falling short, my passion to represent this community has not ended,” he wrote. “That is why I am continuing my campaign on the Republican and Conservative lines because so much is at stake in this election.
“I believe in a city government that works for all people, that values public safety, clean streets, and good schools. These beliefs are not partisan. They are universal.”
Quoting the World War II-era mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Cranston said “there is no Democratic or Republican way to clean the streets.”
“I urge all voters in the 46th District to join my campaign and vote for me in November.”
The 46th Council District encompasses several southeast Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Flatlands, Marine Park, Mill Basin, and parts of Sheepshead Bay. The district is currently represented by Democrat Alan Maisel, who is prevented by term limits from running again.
The attorney Robert Mazzuchin had previously been selected to appear on the Republican and Conservative party lines for the race; neither party held a primary for the seat.
Mazzuchin told Bklyner that he no longer planned to campaign for the seat. But New York’s complicated election laws limit the ways in which a candidate can be removed from the ballot; the candidate may only be removed if they have moved out of the state, passed away, or are nominated for another position, like a judicial seat.
Cranston’s campaign directed questions about plans for Mazzuchin to the Brooklyn GOP and the Conservative Party, neither of which responded to requests for comment. The deadline for party committees to submit their judicial nominees to the state Board of Elections was last week.
Cranston, who positioned himself as the conservative-leaning candidate in the crowded Democratic primary race for the seat, garnered 2,791 votes, or 16.3% of the votes counted, after five rounds of ranked choice voting. He was eliminated in the following round, and Mercedes Narcisse eventually won the primary after seven rounds of counting.
Narcisse, a registered nurse who had run for the seat in 2013, led the race in all rounds of counting, eventually garnering 8,940 votes. A map of first-choice results from the primary indicates racial and geographic divides; Narcisse won most election districts in the largely Black areas of Canarsie and Flatlands, while Donald Cranston garnered more votes in the mostly white neighborhoods of Marine Park, Bergen Beach and Mill Basin.
Several of the election districts that supported Cranston in the primary also went to Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
Cranston, who lives in Marine Park, was the only white candidate to run in the Democratic primary. The Haitian-born Narcisse is Black.
Cranston spent much of his professional life working for various city and state agencies, including the city’s Board of Education, the Battery Park City Authority, the School Construction Authority and the State Senate before moving to the private sector. In the primary, he picked up endorsements from several public sector unions, including the Police Benevolent Association and other unions representing law enforcement officers.
His platform calls for investments in improved ventilation and air conditioning for city-owned buildings, creating affordable housing on vacant lots, and investing in solar energy. He opposes moving school safety agents out of the purview of the NYPD, and says defunding the police “is not the answer.” But he also believes “that we are asking police to do just too much, and that scaling back some of their responsibilities would be a good first step.scaling back some of their responsibilities would be a good first step.” He wants mental health professionals to “assist police when dealing with emotionally disturbed individuals.”
Narcisse, meanwhile, collected high-profile endorsements from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the unions 1199 SEIU and 32BJ, and the progressive activist group Make the Road.
She says she will “fight to redirect funds from the NYPD Budget to fund mental health, education, and health care programs that can better uplift our community,” and says “safety does not necessarily mean a greater police presence.” She wants to push for expanded and increased SNAP benefits, help certify more minority and women-owned businesses, and secure capital funding to mitigate the flood risks in the coastal district.
Narcisse currently has just under $40,000 in campaign cash, according to the city’s Campaign Finance Board, while Cranston is sitting on about $30,400.
“I firmly believe that the voters of the 46th Council District want a council member who they can trust,” Narcisse said in a statement to Bklyner. “The voters know what they will get with Mercedes Narcisse, a hard worker with a desire and passion to serve all the people of the district. As such, I remain confident that the voters in November won’t be blinded by political gamesmanship, and will once again choose the most qualified and best candidate in the race.”
Election Day is Tuesday, November 2nd. Polls will open from 6:00am to 9:00pm. The early voting period will run from October 23rd to October 31st.