Vote 2017: 43rd District Democratic primary

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BROOKLYN -

Five Democrats are facing off for the open 43rd District City Council seat.

The seat is currently held by Councilman Vincent Gentile, whose term limit is up. Gentile is running for Brooklyn district attorney.

Running to replace Gentile is his former chief of staff, Justin Brannan, who wants to increase funding for city schools, improve quality of life by keeping parks and neighborhoods clean and advocate for the city to take charge of MTA buses and New York City Transit, which operates the subway.

Vincent Chirico, the former board chair of a nonprofit, is running on a platform to connect youth to opportunities through personal responsibility workshops, combat the opioid crisis by focusing on prevention and suing pharmaceutical companies, and redirect funds for capital projects like the Second Avenue subway for immediate subway repairs.

Also in the mix is Kevin Carroll, a staffer for Councilman Stephen Levin. He plans on fighting to change the governance system of the Department of Education to give the mayor less control, supporting a rent supplement plan for low-income New Yorkers and advocating for more ADA-accessible subway stations.

Nancy Tong is the lone woman in the race, serving as the female Democratic district leader of the 47th Assembly District. Her main focus is to alleviate school overcrowding by building extensions to schools or converting nearby buildings into schools. She also wants to crack down on illegal home conversions, in which homeowners turn single- or double-family homes into multi-occupancy complexes. And she wants to help seniors by supporting a plan to give tax exemptions to senior homeowners.

Rounding out the Democratic nominees is Rev. Khader El-Yateem. His housing plan is to expand rent freezes for seniors and low-income families. For transit, he too is a proponent of immediate repairs over fancy capital projects. And to address the opioid crisis, he wants to launch various programs for counseling and diversion.

The 43rd District covers Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.

Primary Day is next Tuesday, Sept. 12.

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