Candidates vie for 58th Assembly District seat in special election
Early voting is underway in the 58th Assembly District special election in Brooklyn.
Assembly member Nick Perry has represented the district that serves parts of Flatbush, Canarsie, and Brownsville for more than 30 years. His seat opened when he was appointed as U.S. ambassador to Jamaica.
Candidate Monique Chandler-Waterman was raised in East Flatbush and serves as an outreach director for NYC Test and Trace Corps. She also has the backing of Perry, the Brooklyn Democratic Party, Working Families Party and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Chandler-Waterman says her ties to the community she hopes to represent run deep.
“I'm an educator…I taught in P.S 135, My 11, and also Tillman Campus. Also, I have multiple after school programs in schools throughout the district,” she says. “I also started a nonprofit organization called East Flatbush Village, Inc. where we do wrap-around services holistically for the entire family."
Democrat Hercules Reid is running on the Education is Key party line. He was endorsed by Mayor Eric Adams, who he was an aide for while Adams was Brooklyn borough president.
Reid, 29, says he's hoping to offer a fresh perspective.
“As I say to the voters, this is what you asked for...here I am,” he said.
Reid attended the New York City College of Technology and was the co-chair of the CUNY Task Force as well as student body president. He says his experience has led him to run for office.
“It was during that time as a student government president that I saw real change happen. I was in rooms, I was sitting at tables where there was nobody that looked like me,” Reid says.
Both Chandler-Waterman and Reid are running on similar platforms.
Chandler-Waterman's promise to voters includes COVID relief for businesses, quality public education, affordable housing through income-targeted housing programs, accessible mental health services and public safety.
“We have a public health crisis. Not just with gun violence, with substance abuse, it's a whole bunch that's going on that's social determinants of health that we need to look at,” she says.
Reid says his priorities include affordable education, like making higher education free at all CUNY and SUNY programs, as well as affordable housing and health care.
Reid says his goal is to be the eyes and ears in Albany for the people he'll serve.
“If I'm at a state level, I can say I'm seeing an issue-- let's put more funding here to make sure these streets are clean….let's create the policy we need to ensure these things are possible,” he says.
The candidates say what differentiates themselves from each other are their passions.
“No one has the body of work, lived in this community for their whole entire life. No other candidate has been here in the trenches fighting for gun violence for over two decades with these same community members. No one has the body of work, the passion, the experience,” Chandler-Waterman says.
Reid’s message to voters is, “What are you going to do with this young man, this young individual who is actually trained, prepared, passionate, and hungry to bring about the change that everybody here wants?”
Republican candidate Monique Allen-Davy is also on the ballot. News 12 was unable to reach her for an interview.
The winner of the special election will hold the seat through the end of the year, even as the candidates run again in the primary on June 28.