The Race For Yvette Clarke's Seat Is Warming Up Folks
Wellington Sharpe called to inform today, that he is seriously considering a run for the 40th City Council seat being vacated by Yvette Clarke- who becomes a congresswoman from January 1st, 2007. Sharpe, a longtime Caribbean–American political activist, as well as a successful businessman in the Brooklyn community, has run for this seat before, when he was one of seven candidates who vied for the seat in 2001. He also ran for the State Senate in both the 20th and 21st districts.
Like Una Clarke-who first represented this district in 1991- Sharpe was born on the island of Jamaica, West Indies; this will surely help him in a district with a high immigrant population. When pressed as to why he is now considering a race he had earlier seemed reluctant to run in, Sharpe said that “the support for my candidacy here has been mind-boggling”. He went on to state that of the presently declared candidates, no one seems to be emerging from the pack. Sharpe further added that his phone has been ringing off the hook about this race, ever since Yvette won the congressional primary; with people inquiring about his intentions and speculating about his chances of winning. “Every where I go, people keep asking what was I going to do”, he also said. This is the back-drop for his reconsideration to enter here. He has also been approached about running by various leaders in the community, who seem leery of the present crop of entrants.
With time running out, Sharpe has been agonizing about tackling this race in such a short time frame. As a guy known to paying his political way, and also known to underwriting his political freight, Sharpe’s entry into this race could immediately place him on the list of frontrunners, which most political pundits draw up. I can only assume that his entry will make some candidates nervous, and probably make some others drop from the race. His name recognition in this district is quite high.
Presently, Jesse Hamilton, Zenobia McNally and Ferdinand Zizi (Haitian-American), head up a field of over two dozen potential runners. If any readers are interested in this race, I suggest you read my Grapevine #8. In that article, I listed most of the viable candidates who were leaning towards running in this race. Since then even more candidates have emerged. I intend to do a follow up article on this race in January. My prediction is that by the time they get to the voting machine (presumably in February) this field will be down to about half a dozen only. It is not easy to run in special-elections. It’s not easy to collect signatures in the dead of winter (been there, done that). Many of those running off at the mouth about being candidates in this race are going to be no shows. Watch; you will see that cousin Rocky knows what he is talking about kids.
Sharpe, who had been considering a run for the State Assembly in 2008, says that he is now having hard discussions with his advisors, friends, relatives and inner-circle people. Sharpe’s former campaign-manager James Archibald is said to have hooked up with Ferdinand Zizi in this race, and is probably already committed to another candidate. One of his co-coordinators from his last campaign (Karlene Gordon) is said to be a potential candidate here also, which could present problems for Sharpe. Ms. Gordon has stated however, that if Sharpe were to run she would consider withdrawing her candidacy and supporting him instead. It is said that veteran Brooklyn political technicians Asquith Reid and Omar Boucher are leaning towards supporting Sharpe in this race. It is also said that Dr. Kendall Stewart- the current councilmember from the neighboring 45th district-will also support Sharpe, once a final decision is made to enter the race.
When asked for a timetable relative to his public announcement, Sharpe said that he will make a final decision on whether or not to run, by Christmas time. He also added that if he decides to go, he will announce within the first week of January, 2007.
Stay tuned-in folks.
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