Attacks Fly in Race to Replace Hakeem Jeffries

Assembly candidates Olanike Alabi and Walter Mosley trade accusations on NY1 Friday evening.


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. 

heather paul August 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Affordable jobs ...affordable housing regarding Atlantic yards. Maybe both candidates have to "talk" to the "investors" about these critical issues. Not mr ratner My respect for Hakeem Jeffries is limitless. If he endorses Walter Mosley that's a beginning of someone who has similar interests and commitments to the community Walter was at our subway stop. He could have dismissed talking to me in 5 minutes to meet others he did not do that. He listened. He heard. He spoke with conviction And
Laura Palmer August 25, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Might want to avoid having "attacks" be the first word in your daily email when there's nothing violent going on.
JB August 27, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Mosley is new to the game, he will have to shine a lot of shoes before he is taken seriously, making a great many committments and not being able to deliver on them is crucial, jeffries is low man on the pole if he gets into congress, might be shining the same shoes.
Justthink August 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM
We have to look behind who is really sponsoring Mr. Mosley.People do have a lot of respect for Mr. Jefferies.However, Mosley is no Jefferies. Don't be fooled okay.He is just playing a game.The Atlantic Yards issue should speak volumes to everyone.In his position as Male District Leader what has he done?Trying to mimic Jefferies by standing at a subway stop doesn't get it for me.Everyone thinks this is a democracy.Ha!Ha!The democratic machine is weaving this web and spinning it all.Look at his responses.We need something better in Brooklyn instead of the so called powers that be in the Democratic Party telling us who is a worthy candidate.Do the memory test.Why did Jefferies drop out the assembly race the first time he was running to replace Roger Green?Why did Mosley conveniently forget that both him and his mother worked to get Ed Towns in office and to help him stay?What we are experiencing in Brooklyn is s threat to the Democratic Machine.This is a blue town and blue state.So explain why do we have a 10% unemployment rate, record homelessness, overpriced real estate, unbridled corporate welfare,record foreclosure especially in Brooklyn(how many democrats are sitting on the bench), high food prices and failing, underfunded and made to fail schools?Don't blame on Bloomberg.Elected deomcrats voted so he could have a third term.
Paul Worthen August 27, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I found that interview VERY telling! Mosely is trying to ride on Jeffries' coat tails, and that's all his campaign has going for it, period. But his questions and answers left me thinking he's a skeeve! That answer about swiping a domain name was basically "It's unethical (and under legislative consideration to be flat out illegal!) but everybody does it so it's OK with me." Yeah, I really want you in the State house! And he is Vito Lopez' choice for the seat, another huge strike against him. And that Atlantic Yards BS! "Since I backed them once upon a time I'm sure I'll have the best chance of talking them into keeping their promises." WHAT? Delusional much? Or just another cog in the Big Man's Machine? I'm definitely going with Alabi!


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