By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Endorsement season has arrived in Brooklyn politics and candidates are busy touting their high-profile supporters, hoping it will sway voters in the Sept. 9 primary.
Rodneyse Bichotte, a Democrat running for the State Assembly seat in the 42nd Assembly District held by the retiring Rhoda Jacobs, picked up endorsements this week from U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo. Jacobs (D-Flatbush), a 36-year veteran of state politics, announced on May 18 that she will not seek re-election in November.
Jeffries (D-Brooklyn-Queens) touted Bichotte’s record for service. Bichotte is the Democratic district leader in the 42nd Assembly District. "Throughout her public service journey, Rodneyse has been a passionate, thoughtful and effective leader. She has proven her commitment to providing high-quality education, health care, affordable housing and equal opportunity for Brooklyn’s working and middle class families,” Jeffries said.
Bichotte said she was honored to receive the congressman’s endorsement. “It is truly an honor to have gained the support of my friend Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. He, like one of my political heroes, Shirley Chisholm, is committed to seeking justice and fairness for all people,” said, noting that as a former assemblyman and now as a congressman, Jeffries has rallied with her on “stop-and-frisk,” unjust fiscal policies, immigration reform and women’s rights.
"Rodneyse has been on the front line, as an outspoken advocate for immigration reform, affordable housing, healthcare access, education reform and other issues of great importance to our communities," Cumbo (D-Fort Greene-Clinton Hill) said in her endorsement announcement. “She has been an active change agent and someone we can trust to represent the issues of women and working families of Central Brooklyn in Albany."
Bichotte, who described Cumbo as being “incredibly supportive and encouraging” of her candidacy, said she is looking forward to working with her “to bring the issues of women to the forefront.”
Bichotte and Cumbo have rallied for women’s rights including #BringBackOurGirls, pay equity and the Paid Sick Leave bill, which was signed into law earlier this year and went into effect on April 1.
Meanwhile, in another part of Brooklyn, a leading Democratic Club recently announced its slate of candidates.
The Bay Ridge Democrats, led by Justin Brannan, is backing Andrew Cuomo’s re-election for governor, as well as Eric Schneiderman for re-election as attorney general and Thomas DiNapoli for another term as state comptroller.
In more local contests, the club is supporting former councilman Domenic Recchia’s bid to unseat Republican-Conservative U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm in the 11th Congressional District (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Staten Island). Brannan and his club, who were the first in Brooklyn to endorse Bill de Blasio for mayor, are also backing Jamie Kemmerer for state senate. Kemmerer is running against state Sen. Marty Golden in the 22nd Senate District (Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn).
The club is supporting Marybeth Melendez in her race against Republican-Conservative Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis in the 64th Assembly District (Bay Ridge-Staten Island). The Bay Ridge club has also endorsed Assembly Alec Brook-Krasny (D-Coney Island-Bay Ridge) for re-election.
“The club is very happy with our slate and we look forward to supporting the campaigns of our candidates from now until Election Day. All of these candidates have demonstrated to the club that they share our same values,” Brannan said in a statement.