Rodneyse Bichotte, who was born and raised in Brooklyn to Haitian immigrants, handsomely defeated Jamaican-born economist and accountant Rickie Tullock by 20 percentage points to win the Primary in the 42nd State Assembly District in Brooklyn, according to the preliminary figures released here on Tuesday night.
Since New York is heavily Democratic, winners in the Primary elections are considered shoo-ins to win the general elections in November.
With 100 per cent of the Polling Precincts reported, Bischotte, who was the District Leader of the 42nd State Assembly District, received 47.4 per cent, or 2,669 votes, to Tulloch’s 29.7 per cent, or 1,592 votes.
The other candidates in the race were Haitian Michele Adolphe, who received 800 voters, or 14 per cent and Guyanese Victor Jordan, who received 306 votes, or 5.7 per cent.
“We did it!,” exclaimed Bichotte to jubilant supporters at her campaign headquarters.
“I am humbled and exceedingly grateful to have received the confidence of the people of the 42nd Assembly District to serve as their next Assemblywoman in the New York State Assembly.
“Our success…at the polls would not be possible without the support and effort of a dedicated team of volunteers, campaign staff, and supporters who came together to make (the) victory possible,” she added.
Bichotte said her campaign was able to put together a widespread coalition of elected officials, unions, clergy and non-profits, “who believe that our community is in dire need of leadership in the State Assembly that will put their best interests at heart”.
Tulloch had received the endorsement of the retiring Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs, whose 42nd Assembly District comprises, among other Brooklyn neighbourhoods, Flatbush, East Flatbush and Mid-wood.
But while Bichotte was successful at the polls, another Haitian American candidate was unsuccessful.
Lawyer and educator Rubain Dorancy lost soundly to another lawyer, African American Jesse Hamilton, for the 20th Senatorial District in Brooklyn.
Hamilton, the former legal counsel for Eric Adams, who vacated the seat to become Brooklyn Borough President, received 9,090 votes or 64.9 percent to Dorancy’s 4,189 votes, or 29.9 per cent. The other candidate, Haitian Guillermo Philpotts received 728 votes, or 5.2 per cent.
“I’m glad that I ran on an issues-driven campaign,” Dorancy told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) at his campaign headquarters on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn on Tuesday night.
“The most important thing is that the community’s voices were heard. At the end of the day, the voters carried out the vote. I feel relieved.”
Hamilton, on the other hand, said he was “humbled and honoured by the trust voters have placed in me tonight, and I’ll spend every day in Albany (the state’s capital) working to live up to it. “
He said the results “clearly show that voters in this district demand a proven progressive who will continue Borough President Eric Adams’ long legacy of delivering for our neighbourhoods and “I’m proud to answer the call.
“I have big shoes to fill, but with the help of supporters, residents, and community leaders like Rubain Dorancy, I look forward to making progress on all the issues working families care about as our next State Senator,” she continued.
Two other Caribbean American candidates were also successful in the Primary Elections.
New York State Senator John L. Sampson, whose father is Guyanese, survived a challenge as three other candidates split votes for the 19th Senatorial District in Brooklyn.
Sampson is under US federal indictment on charges that he embezzled more than US$400,000 from the sale of foreclosed homes. He said he is vigorously fighting the charges.
“We had the governor, the mayor and some of my colleagues in the Assembly who didn’t want to see this happen,” Sampson told supporters.
“Prosperity breeds friends, adversity proves it. It is going to be a different John Sampson.”
In Queens, voters in the 14th New York State Senatorial District turned against State Senator Malcolm A. Smith, who is accused of bribery in his bid for the 2013 New York City mayoral ballot.
Smith lost by a landslide to former New York City Councilman Leroy Comrie, of Jamaican parentage.
Comrie received 9,314 votes, or 69.4 per cent to Smith’s 2, 530 votes, or 18.9 per cent and Munir Avery’s 1,577 votes, or 11.8 per cent.
“This win is a huge triumph; and, now, I am looking forward to getting to work,” Comrie said.