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Caribbean American Challenger Beats Vincentian Incumbent In NY Primary

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Sept. 16, 2009: A Caribbean American, Brooklyn resident with Tourette`s syndrome, last night emerged the victor in a heated New York City Primary election race for the 45th councilmatic seat.

Activist Jumaane Williams, who had the backing of the Working Family Party and was endorsed by a number of key media and unions, won the race with some 37 percent of the votes ahead of 25 percent for the incumbent, Vincentian City Councilman, Kendall Stewart.

Stewart managed to pull in 2,223 votes compared to Williams` 3,330. Williams is a first-generation Brooklynite of West Indian parentage who was a former housing director for the Flatbush Development Corporation.

Last night, from a victory celebration in Brooklyn, he told CWNN the win was `surreal` to him and he is still in shock.

`It has not sunk in fully,` he told CWNN via phone.

Most recently, he was the executive director of the NYS Tenants & Neighbors, a state-wide organization that fights for tenants` rights and affordable housing through organizing and advocacy. He is an alumnus of Brooklyn Tech and Brooklyn College.

The other largely Caribbean challengers failed to come close to the votes secured by Williams and Stewart. Barbados-born Sam Taitt, who has run for the seat for several years now, managed to secure just 1,501 votes while newcomer, Dr. Dester McKenzie, a Jamaican, obtained 1,042 votes. Enrest Emmanuel of Haiti garnered 518 votes while Guyanese Erlene King fared even worse with just 397.

The win means Williams will now have to face-off against Stewart, who was faced criticism over his vote against ending term limits and scandal over his former chief-of-staff`s conviction on embezzlement, in the November general election.

Other incumbents were not so unfortunate, with Haitian Councilman, Mathieu Eugene winning, overwhelmingly with 3,879 votes, his primary for the 40th Councilmatic seat. Jamaican challenger, Ricky Tulloch, secured only 1,586 votes while Trinidadian Rock Hackshaw managed to get just 1,122 votes.
In Queens, Jamaican American Councilman, Leroy Comrie, easily won over his Caribbean challenger in Council District 27, while Councilman James Saunders also beat back two Caribbean challengers to hold on to the win in the 31st District.

The Democratic mayoral candidate with Caribbean roots, Bill Thompson, beat out two other competitors for his chance to go head to head with Mayor Bloomberg this fall in the race for City Hall.
With more than 98 percent of precincts reporting last night, Thompson had 69 percent of the vote to Avella`s 21 percent and Rogers` eight percent.

"It`s time for a change New York. Eight years is enough," said Thompson, who was endorsed recently by several Caribbean Americans, at his victory speech last night.

Meanwhile, outgoing councilmember John Liu garnered 38 percent of the vote with 85 percent of precincts reporting in the race for comptroller while City Council member Bill de Blasio led the race for public advocate.