Pamela Harris won the Democratic nomination for New York’s 46th Assembly District seat last night.
Harris, a community activist and former Rikers Island corrections officer well-known for her work as head of Coney Island Generation Gap and her advocacy for Hurricane Sandy victims, was selected by Kings County Democratic Party Executive Committee to run against Republican and Conservative Party Candidate Lucretia Regina-Potter.
The 46th District chair was left vacant by former Assemblyman Alex Brook-Krasny, who stepped down from office on July 7 to work in the private sector, prompting a November 3 special election.
Had Brook-Krasny resigned a week earlier — before July 1 — the nomination would have occurred through the standard primary process. Instead, Harris and other prospective Democratic nominees — including Brook-Krasny’ former Chief of Staff Kate Cucco, former City Councilman Mike Nelson, and Bay Ridge attorney Cody McCone — were forced to compete behind the scenes for the votes of the district’s 90 Democratic committee members.
Over the weekend, several key Southern Brooklyn Democrats, including Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, Senator Diane Savino, Assemblyman William Colton, Councilman Mark Treyger, Councilman David Greenfield, and District Leader Nancy Tong, endorsed Harris, praising her toughness, her community mindedness, and her strong track record of grassroots activism. Harris also won the backing of the Working Families Party (WFP).
“By any measurable standard, she is the best possible candidate,” said Jeffries at a press conference with the other lawmakers at Bay Parkway Promenade Sunday. “If you look at Pam Harris’ background, track record, and experience, it’s clear to me that she’s got the courage, toughness, as well as the compassion and the community-centered mindset to be an effective member of the assembly.”
Cucco, who was backed by her former boss Brook-Krasny, Councilman Vincent Gentile, and the Independence Party, was seen as a legitimate contender for the nod, but ultimately lost the vote to Harris.
If elected to the State Assembly, Harris has vowed to prioritize Sandy recovery efforts and work on issues related to education, housing, as well as youth and senior services.