First Haitian-American, Dr. Mathieu Eugene, Faces Contest For Central Brooklyn District Seat
After a historic win nearly seven years ago of the central Brooklyn district seat that was, for the first time, occupied by someone of Haitian-American descent, Dr. Mathieu Eugene runs the risk of being unseated by a new competitor. Though facing three candidates, including a MTA road car inspector, John Grant, and the ex-wife of a mayoral candidate, Sylvia Kinard, Eugene's main competition is the unassuming Saundra Thomas, who flew in under the radar to impress people who could push her campaign forward into a place of direct competition with Dr. Eugene.
The opposition is undoubtedly a bit of an upset to the Eugene camp, since, as an incumbent, they would have expected their councilman to run, largely, unopposed or without any serious threat, however, Dr. Eugene's ranking as 48th out of 51 council members meant there was a chance for competition.
Already Thomas seems ahead of the game, as Eugene's campaign was left without the much-wanted public matching funds. Though the campaign applied, they were unable to gain the funding. As such, Thomas made it to the filing deadline with over $40,000 more to spend than Eugene, a bounty she amassed through small donations of between $25 and $250.
The district they will butt heads over includes parts of Crown Heights, Kensington, Ditmas Park, Prospect-Lefferts, Flatbush and East Flatbush, and the question remains as to whether the constituency has broadened their horizons enough to consider a candidate who is not from the Caribbean.
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