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September 16, 2009: Vol. 1, No. 8
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Incumbent Eugene stomps competitors in fight for East Flatbush’s 40th District


It was an easy victory for incumbent City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene, in a three-way race in the 40th Council District.

Eugene -- the first Haitian-American to win elective office in New York City -- took 58.89 percent of the vote, easily coasting ahead of his two challengers, Leithland “Rickie” Tulloch, who ran for the seat two years ago, when it opened up after Representative Yvette Clarke moved on to Congress, and longtime activist and political blogger, Rock Hackshaw. Eugene amassed a total of 3,879 votes, according to unofficial tallies available on primary night. Tulloch came in second with 1,586 votes (24.08 percent), and Hackshaw came in third, with 1,122 (17.03 percent).

Eugene attributed his success to the fact that, despite their disparate backgrounds, the residents of the 40th C.D. were united in their goals for bettering the community. “We are all working together as the people of the 40th district,” he contended.

Looking ahead, Eugene said he would focus on several areas of importance to the district’s residents, “To improve the quality of life of everyone in the 40th district. I am going to continue to advocate for better education for your children, for access to the highest quality of health care for residents, for the improvement of immigration laws, and for job opportunities. My goal is to make the 40th district the best district in New York City.

“I know I won’t be able to do it alone, but I believe, working together, we will be able to do it,” he contended. “We are all in this together.”

The district, which includes portions of Flatbush and East Flatbush, has seen numerous elections in the past several years since Eugene’s predecessor, Yvette Clarke, was elected to Congress. Prior to the September 15th primary, Eugene had won three previous elections -- a special election held in February, 2007; a second special election held two months later because of issues revolving around his residency at the time the first election was held; and a regular election in November of that year.

Eugene’s victory came in an election with extremely light turnout, which may have been made lighter still because of problems encountered by some voters in Victorian Flatbush, who reported arriving at their polling place to find the ballot for the neighboring 45th C.D. in their voting machines.

While, in the affected election districts, voters were given paper ballots beginning sometime before mid-afternoon, the council votes of those who voted earlier in the wrong district were not counted, according to the Board of Elections (BOE), though the other votes they cast were tabulated, the BOE said.

41st Council District Race

While Eugene scored an easy victory, the representative of the neighboring 41st Council District -- which includes portions of East Flatbush -- appears to have squeaked to victory in a four-way race.

According to unofficial results released on primary night, which do not include paper ballots, the incumbent, Darlene Mealy -- who was vulnerable largely because of her vote in favor of extending term limits -- narrowly bested Tracy Boyland, whom Mealy replaced, as well as challengers Anthony Herbert and Tulani Kinard.

In all, Mealy racked up 2,684 votes, for 37.04 percent of the total cast, scarcely more than the 2,551 votes (35.2 percent) that Boyland received. In third place was Kinard, with 1,467 votes (20.24 percent). Finishing last was Herbert, with 545 votes (7.52 percent).

Mealy had previously defeated Boyland’s father, William Boyland, Sr., in 2005, in a 10-way race in which Kinard’s husband, Stanley, also ran unsuccessfully.

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