Fort Greene — 35th Council District Democratic Primary

for The Brooklyn Paper
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35th Council District

Longtime district Councilwoman Letitia James is running for public advocate this year and a crowded field of candidates are vying to take her place. Laurie Cumbo has emerged as a potential frontrunner, racking up influential endorsements and serving as a lightning rod for attacks from her rivals. The district includes Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, and parts of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.


• Service Employees International Union staffer working with health care employees. Former district manager of Community Board 2.

• Lost a race for the 57th state Assembly district in 2012.

• Age 37, unmarried.


• Founder and owner of Fort Greene’s Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. Professor at Pratt Institute.

• Once worked as a community organizer, bringing concerts to public housing and organizing block parties to benefit local businesses.

• Age 38, unmarried.


• Chief of staff for Councilman Jumaane Williams. Former staffer for Councilwoman Melissa Mar-Viverito.

• Served as chief of staff for councilman Jumaane Williams.

• Age 42, unmarried.


• Attorney. Former Assistant district attorney in Queens.

• Former assistant to Board of Education Chancellor Joseph A. Fernandez.

• Age 52, married


• Director of Pamoja House Men’s Shelter in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

• Occupy Wall Street organizer and community board member for Interfaith Medical Center.

• Age 38, unmarried, one daughter.


• Fox claimed that Cumbo undervalued the price of artwork donated to raise money for her campaign, but Cumbo’s campaign says that no laws were broken.

• Cumbo missed the only debate before the primary, which Fox called an “insult to the community.” Olanike Alabi also showed up an hour late, saying that she had been held up by work.

• Laurie Cumbo’s white field director resigned after reporters uncovered bizarre statements on his Facebook page, including one saying, “The south shall rise again!!!!!­!!!!”

Updated 1:25 pm, September 9, 2013: Updated to reflect that Frank Hurley is married and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts has moved from its original location in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
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Reasonable discourse

Norman Oder from Brooklyn says:
This is really weak. The Brooklyn Paper, without hyperlinks, badly summarizes a couple of tabloid stories regarding the campaign, and also gets several facts wrong. (F. Richard Hurley is married, for example, and MoCADA is in Fort Greene.)

The biggest issue is not the sale of art work or who showed up to a debate--there were numerous forums that every candidate attended--but the role of Jobs for NY, the real-estate-backed SuperPAC pouring money into the race on behalf of Cumbo.

More here:
Sept. 9, 2013, 7:25 am

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