Fasten Your Seatbelts: Update on The Special Election Re-Run (40th District)

Won’t it be ironic if there is no special election on April 24th in the 40th city council district? After all, many have accused Mathieu Eugene of wasting government money, with his refusal to be confirmed in a seat that he had won-given all his shenanigans after the election. Well, based on the buzz in the trenches, all the candidates that filed for the re-run were weak in their signatures. The speculation is rife that Eugene is in the driver’s seat and that he may well knock every opponent off the ballot. Won’t that be something?

When petitions were submitted, five candidates filed. They were namely; Mathieu Eugene (black/Haitian-American male), Wellington Sharpe (black Jamaican born male), Harry Schiffman (white/Jewish/male), Marie Gina Faustin (black Haitian-American female) and Darly Brutus (black Haitian-American male). Three of these ran first time around (Eugene/actual winner then, Sharpe and Schiffman); so it was a bit surprising to many, that the runner up in the last race (Jennifer James) didn’t show up in the re-run, given that Sharpe (3rd) and Schiffman (4th) did. Sensibly, the nine other also-rans stayed away from this race; thank God.

What is known is that there were discussions amongst various candidates who ran, with the intention of coming up with one alternative candidate to Eugene; these talks however seem to have been fruitless. At one point it was rumored that both Jennifer James and Leithland Tulloch were willing to endorse Sharpe, but these endorsements have apparently been rescinded up to the time of this writing. Of some of the other candidates who ran first time around: both Jesse Hamilton and Karlene Gordon are said to be endorsing Eugene in this upcoming race. Zenobia McNally is rumored to be pointing towards a September challenge for the winner of this re-run, and Ambassador Joel Toney is said to be mulling retirement from politics. Mo Ravzi is said to be interested in another run for some office somewhere down the road; while Jennifer James is said to be mulling over either a September challenge for this seat, or a run for congress next year. If she challenges Yvette Clarke, she will get lots of support out there folks. Gerry Hopkins is missing in action at the moment; Chris Owens still won’t run for this seat and yours truly refuses to be a draftee/lol.

It is said that Brooklyn’s Democratic Party county machine is quietly supporting Mathieu Eugene this time around. It is also being said that Sharpe lost two of his key backers: council members Kendall Stewart and Lew Fidler (Biggie Smalls). If this is true then Sharpe’s campaign will be driving uphill all the way to the election. It is known that there were changes made after the last race, in that Guyanese-born Wrickford Burke (who managed Joel Toney’s campaign last out) has come in to manage Sharpe’s campaign here. I am told that the irrepressible Omar Boucher has been relegated to Director of Field Operations.

I have also been told that the brilliant young attorney Terry Hinds has been retained by the Faustin campaign. It is said that Gina first went looking to retain prominent Brooklyn attorney Mitch Alter, only to find that Mitch was on retainer for Sharpe. The relationship between Alter and Sharpe goes back to the year 2000 folks; that’s when Sharpe tried to run against Marty Markowitz, who was then senator of the 20th district.

If Eugene succeeds in knocking all his challengers off the ballot, then his Attorney Paul Wooten would be up for the “comeback of the year” award. Word is that they focused on Gina Faustin’s petitions, since Darly Brutus did not file the required amount needed to stay on the ballot. Word is that he (Brutus) will be ruled off by the Board of Elections almost automatically. It is said that Schiffman filed around 1400 signatures for a race where just over 1000 is needed to qualify. I am told to “stick a fork” in him. I was told that Sharpe is hanging–on like “Sloopy”, and that Faustin is in similar straits. It is said that they both filed just under two thousand signatures. The BOE rules on Wednesday 11th April 2007 and the Courts wade in the following day.

There is further irony here folks, in that I have been told that State Assembly member Jim Brennan (44thAD/ portions of which are in this city council district), tried to introduce legislation in Albany, attempting to lower the signature requirement for this re-run to 500 signatures. Brennan looks like a genius today peeps: he must have seen this coming. In hindsight, given the short time-frame for signature-gathering, Brennan’s failed attempt was the sensible way to go.

Stay tuned-in folks.