On Tuesday, January 18th, Democrat Eddie Gibbs won the special election for 68th Assembly District. Gibbs makes history as the first State Legislator who has previously served prison time. “The county committee saw fit, and they elected me and nominated me for the Democratic position, and I was honored, as I am equally excited to get up to Albany and get to work,” Gibbs said after his win. The seat became vacant after its former occupant, Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, was appointed Secretary of State.
On January 10th, longtime Democratic Member of the Assembly Sandy Galef, announced she will be retiring, and thus she will not seek re-election in 2022. Galef has served in the Assembly since 1993, representing the current 95th District, which includes portions of Putnam and Westchester counties. “I have loved every moment of being an elected official and cared so deeply for my constituents.” Galef said in a statement announcing her retirement. “Making government accessible and making it work for the public was always my goal.”
Also, earlier this month, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso announced that Assemblywoman Diana Richardson will leave her post to become the new Deputy Brooklyn Borough President. Richardson has represented the 43rd Assembly District since 2015. “I don’t see this as a step-down at all, but it’s really a tremendous opportunity to really work with the people on the ground more closely,” Richardson said. “For all intents and purposes, it’s a promotion. It puts me closer with the people that I got involved to serve in the very first place. Remember, when you run for office as an elected official, it’s the people that are the driver. The politics in the place where you go to serve them is the outcome, but it’s the people you get in to serve. Now, this is more of what I love to do, I’m so excited. Also, I’m number two in the borough, and I’m not number two in the Assembly.”
After Assemblywoman Galef announced her retirement, former Mayor of Peekskill, Andre Rainey, announced his candidacy to fill her seat. “Sandy Galef is an institution and there isn’t a person who doesn’t know her, hasn’t been touched by her, or who has not benefitted from the work she has done on behalf of all of us,” Rainey said. “I am so appreciative of the partnership we have had over the years and the work she has done to make all of our communities better. As we move forward, we need to ensure this district has a representative in Albany with a proven track record of delivering for the people they represent.” If elected, Rainey would become the first African American to hold that Assembly seat.
Pierre Albert, a Program Manager in the Governor’s office has announced his candidacy to fill the seat vacated by Assemblywoman Richardson. In his announcement, Albert said, “as the son of a single Haitian immigrant mother who emigrated to the United States, I have experienced first-hand the challenges our neighborhoods face. I see the injustices in so many aspects of our lives. I will shine a light on the realities of our communities and bring our message to Albany to demand equity in education, housing, healthcare, quality of life, and opportunities for the people of the 43rd District.”
In the 60th Assembly District, which former Assemblyman Charles Barron vacated after he won election to his old seat on the New York City Council, it appears the special election to fill the seat will be competitive. Former Assemblyman Barron and his wife, who held his Assembly seat before him, Inez, have thrown their support behind Keron Alleyne, a former Assembly staffer who challenged Senator Roxanne Persaud in 2020 and lost. However, Alleyne will only appear on the Working Families Party line.
The official Democratic candidate is Nikki Lucas, who secured the nomination at the January 17 meeting of the Brooklyn Democratic Party County Committee’s. She is endorsed by the, Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. In 2021, Lucas, who has been a vocal critic of the Barrons, unsuccessfully challenged Charles Barron in his City Council race. The special election will take place on February 15th.
Another special election will occur on February 15th for the 72nd Assembly District, which was vacated by former Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa. She was also elected to the City Council last November. So far, three candidates have filed paperwork to run for the seat. They include Democrat Manny De Los Santos, Republican Edwin De La Cruz, and Nayma Silver-Matos, who will be running for the Uptown Rises party.
Lastly, longtime Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, who chairs the Assembly Higher Education Committee will find herself facing a primary challenger in June. Ryder Kessler, an entrepreneur in New York’s West Village, announced his candidacy earlier this month.