The race to replace the recently deceased Councilman Thomas White, Jr is underway with a long listing of potential candidates. The following is a listing of the more notable candidates with a bit of background. This listing should pair down with a clear indication of frontrunners as Election Day approaches.
Former Councilman Allan Jennings has name recognition and held the seat prior to White being reinstated. Scandal, misdeeds and ill will during his time in office might resurface reducing his chances at success. However, name recognition and being out of a glaring spotlight in past years does help.
Civic leader Ruben Wills, who formerly worked as State Senator Huntley’s chief of staff, has a good chance of becoming a front runner. His name was put out early in conjunction with the Huntley primary. Huntley’s primary win also sets the stage for him to rise in standing and being associated with a candidate with a lot of good will in the community isn’t bad. Wills has put also put in some face time with a number of community organizations and efforts.
Recently defeated Huntley challenger Lynn Nunes who nearly defeated White in the last election but lost out by four votes has a good chance of becoming a front runner. That is if his endorsements by the New York Times and House Speaker Quinn along with his funding by a pro gay marriage concern follow him from that Senate race to support this City Council race. However, caution should be taken when thinking his near win over White translated to neighborhood acceptance as those four votes were more representative of incumbent dissatisfaction.
Attorney and former candidate for this seat Albert Baldeo has run before but hasn’t risen in much renown since then. He should be able to reconnect with some of his supporters, but his challengers seem to have a good head start. This may be an underdog worth watching.
Nicole Paultre-Bell widow of Sean Bell has the support of Congressman Gregory Meeks and Reverend Al Sharpton. This support may be enough to catapult her into front runner status however, it does not guarantee a win. And while many might be sympathetic to her plight and support her efforts, her lack of political experience is sure to be an issue.
Several other possible candidates include Martha Butler, Joseph Marthone, Elaine Nunes, Hettie Powell, Harpreet Toor and Charles Bilal.