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Four Candidates Battling For District 38 City Council Seat

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There's a battle in Brooklyn over an open City Council seat. In August, the former Councilman, Angel Rodriguez, resigned from the post and pleaded guilty to charges of bribery and extortion for shaking down an area developer. In the following report, NY1’s Sandra Endo introduces us to the four candidates who want the job.

Community activist Sara Gonzalez is the only woman in a field of four vying to represent Brooklyn's District 38 in the City Council. She heads up Community Board 7 in Sunset Park, and says she's plugged into what people in the district want.

“I believe I'm the best qualified person because of my education, my experience, and my track record in the community of 52 years living in this community, toiling and working for different aspects, with youth, seniors and all the populations,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is battling three men for the seat vacated by disgraced former Councilmember Angel Rodriguez. Rodriguez resigned in August and pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion charges.

George Martinez - a CUNY professor - ran against Rodriguez last year, and he says this time it's his turn to win.

“This race is about the self-determination of the community,” said Martinez. “In my mind it's about a community that has been stepped on, stepped over and sold out to the highest bidder. I'm running to bring this council seat back to the community.”

Another candidate, lawyer and former school teacher Eddie Rodriguez - no relation to the former councilmember -says he'll focus on improving education.

“I stand on the shoulders of giants - my parents,” said Rodriguez. “All they ever ask of me is that I treat people with respect and work hard, and these are the things I've done and these are the principles that I have. And in large measure those are the things I hope to continue to do.”

While the top concerns in this district are improving schools, as well as developing the waterfront and affordable housing, all the candidates say if elected, they'd also work to regain the trust and faith of the community in city government.

Javier Nieves knows a thing or two about politics - he served in the State Assembly and works at the New York City Housing Authority.

“It’s important to elect somebody and to put somebody there who can start out running right from the start, who knows the process and is not learning it or starting new, because I think we have a lot of catching up to do,” said Nieves.

And a lot of hands to shake.

This special election is on November 5, giving the candidates only a couple of months to win over voters.

- Sandra Endo
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