A look at the 20th Senatorial District: Can Anthony Alexis make history?
The 20th Senatorial District mainly covers pieces of Crown Heights, Flatbush, Kensington, Clinton Hill and Park Slope. It is roughly 63% black, 18% white, 13% hispanic and 6% other. For about two decades, current Borough President Marty Markowitz was the incumbent. When Marty was elected Boro Prez in 2001, a special election to fill the created vacancy, saw Carl Andrews (Dem.) defeat Frances Purcell (Rep.); he successfully defended the seat later that year, in a primary election against Wellington Sharpe and Mickey Haller. Last year Andrews had no primary challenge, and we really don't have to discuss what happens in Novembers in this district. It's a foregone conclusion that once you have the Dem. party line, you win the general election.
Fast forward to this year. When Carl Andrews decided to run for Congress in the 11th District, a vacancy was again created, and as open seats go, there is a crowded field of possible entrants to the race. The probable favorite is ex-cop Eric Adams, of "100 Black Men in Law Enforcement" fame. He has raised the most money, and is by far the most recognized of all the entrants. The last time we saw Adams trying to make a race, was in 1996. He was challenging Major Owens for the congressional seat. Adams mysteriously refused to submit his signatures, after circulating a petition. He claimed that there was a burglary at his campaign office, and that most of his valid signatures were stolen. Since then he has threatened to run a few times, but never actually did. I think that this time he is not just posturing. This time he is serious.
Another possible runner is Moses " Musa" Moore. Moore is the current district leader in the 43rd Assembly District. He was appointed to this post recently, replacing Clarence Norman. Moore is said to have once managed a campaign of council-member Tish James, and has been an active technician in Brooklyn's political circles. He has done work with many judicial candidates in the past, and is said to be a hard-hitting operative. Recently there have been flyers circulating, which have attacked Eric Adams for once being a Republican. The claim is that he conveniently switched back to the Democratic Party, just to enter this race. This hit has been linked to Moore's campaign by many observers. Some operatives think that this is an epic of things to come in this race, and they expect it to get "nasty". There is talk that another flyer is circulating, which claims that Adams has never voted in a democratic primary.
Then there is Elizabeth King. The last time we saw her show up, was as a candidate for City Council (2001), facing Lew Fiddler. The assumption is that she has moved her registration. Ms. King has worked for the two previous senators in this district, and is well known in the community. Where she is getting her support is unknown as at this time.
All this brings me to the only other known entrant so far: Anthony Alexis. In 2001, Alexis filed signatures for a candidacy in the Democratic primary, hoping to replace Lloyd Henry in the vacant 35th City Council district. He was knocked off the ballot (in a court challenge), by the eventual winner Kendall Stewart. It is claimed that there was a sinister reason for Stewart knocking Alexis off the ballot. Stewart who was born on the tiny Caribbean island named Union grew up in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. He has represented himself as a Trinidadian on many an occasion. Alexis -who was born in Trinidad-, appeared to threaten Stewart's standing among Trinidad-born voters in the district. Thus the challenge, which- based on the eventual result-, seemed to be a stroke of genius.
In 2002, a new seat was drawn in Flatbush (21SD), and Alexis entered a contentious race. An attempt by the county-leader to find a consensus candidate was controversial to say the least. Alexis later withdrew before filing signatures, after that process had broken down. Now, at age 35, Alexis is poised to make another political move. Having interned in Clarence Norman's office, he later worked for Assembly-woman Rhoda Jacobs, and later still, was a staffer for Council-member Tracey Boyland. Until recently, he was the president of the 42ndA.D. Political club (Dem.), only relinquishing the post to focus on this race.
As far as those of us in Caribbean-American political circles know, no person born on the island republic of Trinidad and Tobago has ever been elected to the N.Y. State legislature or higher. The best known Trinidadian ever elected to high office in the USA, was Mervyn Dymally. He was elected to Congress from a seat in California. He later became the Lieutenant Governor of that state. In Brooklyn, at least 9 men born on the island have tried to achieve this feat. They have all failed. They include, Horace Morancie, Ernest Skinner, Anthony Agard, Maurice Gumbs, Edward Roberts, Abu Abu (school-board 17/ formerly Ernest Matthews), Carl Thomas (deceased), and yours truly. Gumbs was elected to the School Board (Crown Heights), and challenged Markowitz for this said seat on three occasions (1986/88/94).
If Anthony Alexis wins, he will make history, as far as we know. Whether or not he highlights his ethnicity in this race, is left to be seen. No matter what his tactics are, many Trinidad born residents of Brooklyn and beyond are wishing him the best of luck. Stay Tuned.
Post new comment