Candidates Olanike Alabi and Walter Mosley made their race to replace Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries personal Friday evening during an exchange on NY1 (see video of the exchange at the link).
When Inside City Hall’s Josh Robin offered Mosley the chance to ask Alabi a question, he brought up her association with as well as Councilman for the Democratic nomination for Congress.
“You carried petitions for Congressman Ed Towns, and he eventually, in mid-April decided to retire … and he eventually put you on his payroll. As a result, you along with the Congressman, went to support Council member Charles Barron in his race against Hakeem Jeffries. Do you have any regrets?” Mosley asked.
Alabi answered: “First of all I think we have to be honest and we have to tell the truth. I carried petitions for Congressman Ed Towns but you also carried petitions for Congressman Ed Towns over a series of years,” she said.
“Secondly you have been a close confidant, along with your mom,* of Congressman Ed Towns over the years. I think you should not engage in revisionist history here. I never endorsed anyone in the Congressional Race. Let me also say that in 2008 when you ran, Congressman Ed Towns not only supported you, but he sponsored a piece of mailing for you.”
When it was Alabi’s chance to question Mosley, she got just as personal, asking why his campaign bought her domain name, olanikealabi.com. She also noted that Mosley has “been cited being on both sides of the Atlantic yards issue.”
“How can we trust you?” she said.
In reference to the domain name, Mosley said, “That is a common practice that all consultants do in an effort to ensure that we get the best possible advantage in a campaign,” he said.
As for Atlantic Yards, Mosley said, “I was the only candidate in this race to take a stance on this project. It was a project that dealt with creating affordable [sic] jobs, it was a project that dealt with creating affordable housing. This project has broken its promises. Because I was supportive of it in the very beginning doesn’t mean I gave up my opportunity to be critical of it,” he said.
The candidates also differed on their response to the news that Brooklyn Democratic leader and assemblyman, two female Assembly employees.
Alabi said that "provided the allegations are true, yes, I think he should leave." Mosley, on the other hand, said he would "hold off on making any public comments" until the borough district leaders met to discuss the issue.
Both said there needed to be stronger federal gun control laws as well as more recreational activities and social services for Brooklyn’s youth.
When asked which piece of legislation each would fight for first in Albany, Alabi said more funding for preventative healthcare at community-based healthcare centers, while Mosley put affordable housing on the top of the list.
Both candidates are district leaders in Brooklyn’s 57th Assembly District, which includes Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights and parts of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The Democratic primary is Thursday, Sept. 13. See our list of 5 Things You Need to Know About here.
*Marilyn Mosley, president of Brooklyn’s Progressive Association for Political Action (PAPA), a major political institution in Fort Greene.