This year’s city elections mark the end of an era for Central Brooklyn’s 40th Council District: for the first time in fourteen years, term-limited incumbent Council Member Mathieu Eugene will not be running for the seat.
Eugene is the Council’s longest-serving member, and his departure represents many things, including a chance for a fresh conversation around community priorities like affordable housing and public safety, and an opportunity for a new crop of political hopefuls seeking to represent the diverse district.
But it’s also an important moment for several political power brokers from Central Brooklyn’s Caribbean community, who have backed competing candidates in the race and who could see their influence in the area grow or diminish depending on who takes the seat.
“I think there's a tug of war between many factions,” said Brian Cunningham, a former candidate for the seat who also ran against Eugene in 2017. “And there’s a question of really whose district this is moving forward.”