Mount Vernon — It’s the eve of the Democratic Primary in the City of Mount Vernon, New York and while most may have made up their mind who they will vote for, there are many still undecided. Black Westchester Magazine presents an Election Forecast. While we can not tell you who to vote for and we are not endorsing any candidates, we will give you one last look at the candidates who are campaigning hard these last 24+ hours for your vote.
The biggest of the two races that will be decided in the Tuesday, September 13th primary is the State Senate race. Five candidates are all vying for Ruth Hassell-Thompson’s vacant seat to be the next State Senator in New York’s 36th District (The City of Mount Vernon and the Northeast Bronx – Norwood, Bedford Park, Williamsbridge, Co-op City, Wakefield and Baychester).
Rev. Edward Mulraine (1A) – The Mount Vernon Democratic Nominee, Rev. Edward Mulraine has been an advocate in this district for over 30 years, as tenant association president, elected school board member, Williamsbridge NAACP President and Pastor of Unity Baptist Tabernacle in Mount Vernon, New York (101 S 2nd Ave, Mt Vernon). He came out the gate strong in April with early support from Black Clergy. Rev. Mulraine holds an annual community based event called Unity In The Community, that focuses on issues of social justice, community togetherness and honoring residents of Mount Vernon, like the March for Memorial Field. For more on Mulraine check interview he did on BronxNet TV.
Jamaal Bailey (2A) – The Bronx Democrat Nominee who serves as Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s community relations director. Jaamal has appeared on PBP Radio for an interview. Jamaal has been endorsed by a wide array of influential elected officials. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, New York City Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.,Congressmember Eliot Engel, Assemblyman and Bronx Democratic County Chair Marcos Crespo, Outgoing State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Assemblymembers Michael Benedetto, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Mark Gjonaj, Luis Sepulveda and Latoya Joyner. For more info check his website.
Dr. Alvin Ponder (3A) – hailing the Co-Op Section of the Bronx, in addition to be a guest columnist for BW, he has Strong Community Relations and Emergency Management skills: Advocated Affordable Health Care Act, wrote “King Convenes Obamacare Forum,” City News, 16,000 circulation; Community Activist. Ponder hs a strong ability to organize, to work with teams, to link operations with strategy and to communicate effectively with various publics with strengths as strategic planner and change agent, motivational speaker, writer, results-oriented public service specialist.
Pamela Hamilton-Johnson (4A) – Is a Community Advocate, Parent Leader and former School Board President (2013-2015). As director of an after-school and job-training organization and past president of the local Community Education Council, Hamilton-Johnson says she will bring a strong focus on education to Albany. She looks to improve school districts’ communication with parents and stabilize state school funding. Showing welcome independence from teachers’ unions, Hamilton-Johnson also embraces a proposed tax credit to help families pay for private school. For more on Pamela see her interview with the Lohud Editorial Board and an editorial in the New York Daily News, who endorsed her as their choice for State Senate!
Que English (5A) – “Since my feet touched the pavement in my district, I have put my heart and soul into the issues that matter most by lending my voice and pen. My goal in Albany is to continue this movement with greater impact by advancing the economic security of my district as well as their safety. From assisting in the reduction of gun violence by over 50% in my district to seeing hundreds of previously incarcerated individuals obtain jobs to youth mentorship programs to fighting for gender justice, and assuring responsible development–my track record speaks for itself.”
Que has come out to fight and defend the rights of small business at a rally for justice, after the illegal closing of a Mount Vernon business. She has most recently received two major endorsements from the Lohud Editorial Board and the Grand Council of Guardians. She was the first one of the candidates to appear on PBP Radio for an interview. For more on Que, check her website.
Sunday, August 28th, Black Westchester Magazine and People Before Politics Radio Show held a Senatorial Debate live on the air. If you missed the debate or would like to see it again in part or in its entirety, to help you make an informed choice (see video below).
The next race everyone is paying attention to is the race for Mount Vernon City Court Judge.
There are two candidates that are very passionate about justice. While they are more both qualified, unfortunately you can only choose one. This promises to be a tight race, check out their brief bios below and choose who you feel will best serve Mount Vernon as City Court Judge.
Tamika A. Coverdale, Esq. (6A) – Tamika is a graduate of Howard University with a B.A. in Political Science and a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. She is a Private Practitioner who is a Trial Attorney with a General Practice. Known for delivering “Legal Representation with Compassion,” she has practiced law for 16 years. She is a criminal defense and trial attorney, has handled criminal matters and has felony trial experience including: DWI, Assault, Grand Larceny, Drug Possession, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property; Reinstatement of Suspended Driver’s Licenses, Hardship Licenses, Violation of Probation; Landlord/Tenant Matters; Domestic Violence Matters. For more information on Tamika, check her website.
Judge Nichelle A. Johnson (7A) – The Democratic Nominee, Johnson was appointed City Court Judge by Mount Vernon Mayor, Richard W Thomas on April 5th to fill the unexpired term of the Honorable Helen Blackwood, who was elected to Westchester County Court Judge. Nichelle began her career in litigation defense in the Corporation Counsel’s Office for the City of Mount Vernon. Her litigation aptitude proved to an asset for City of Mount Vernon on a variety of court matters. When she persuaded management to adopt the cost-effective measure of keeping intense litigation cases in-house, Nichelle had no idea just how busy she would become. Because of her commitment and tireless effort residents have benefited. Nichelle Johnson has saved taxpayers millions of dollars in legal outsource fees. For more information on Nichelle, check her website.
While the candidates for Judge can not debate, BW & PBP Radio held a live Meet The Candidates Forum, Sunday, September 11th to give voters a last look at each candidate to again hopefully help them make an informed decision at the ballot box on Tuesday. We edited the videos so you can see the candidates without having to watch the entire show (see videos below in order of their appearance on the show).
These are your candidates running in the Democratic Primary, Tuesday, September 13th, Now you’ve seen them and heard what they had to say about who they are and why you should vote for them. The Choice Is Yours, but whatever you do make sure you go out and vote and exercise that Choice!
One More Race
There is of course one more race, that’s the race for U.S. Representative for New York’s 16th congressional district (includes the northern Bronx; the neighborhoods of Bedford Park, East Tremont, Fordham, Hunts Point, Melrose, Highbridge, Morrisania, Mott Haven and University Heights and the southern half of Westchester County; including the municipalities of Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, Eastchester, Pelham, Rye City, and parts of Greenburgh), that will be decided in the General Election in November.
Congressman Eliot Engel – The Incumbent and Democratic Nominee and Derickson Lawrence, the challenger who despite not making the democratic primary, did not let that stop him from making this a two-man race. Since we have until November to make a decision in this race, we will circle back and introduce you to these two candidates like those running in the primary. We are currently attempting to host a debate with these candidates on PBP Radio as well!