Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud has won the endorsement of the politically powerful Thomas Jefferson Democratic club in Brooklyn to run for the state Senate seat formerly occupied by John Sampson. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
It was a special night at the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club in Canarsie Thursday. Even though it was a regularly scheduled meeting, on this night, members were endorsing a candidate for state Senate.
The meeting was led by Brooklyn Democratic boss Frank Seddio, who seemed right at home as he cracked jokes with the friendly audience.
"I had a good joke. I don't know if I can tell it tonight. We have TV cameras. I'll tell you later," Seddio said.
Roxanne Persaud was elected to the Assembly last year. When the seat held by John Sampson became vacant, she saw an opportunity.
"John Sampson made his mark. John Sampson did a very good job. So, I am not looking to become John Sampson. I am looking to put Roxanne Persaud's stamp on the district," Persaud said.
Observers say getting the endorsement of the Thomas Jefferson Club is tantamount to winning the seat in the heavily Democratic district in Brooklyn.
"The candidate that we will endorse will most likely be the winning candidate," Seddio said. "Now, I'm always a little superstitious. There is an election to have to run by."
Seddio has been associated with the club for 50 years. Some famous Brooklyn Democrats have come out of here, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.
"'We've been fabric of this community for so long that the endorsement does mean a lot just because of the cross-pollination of the 19th Senatorial District. So it is significant," said Frank Carrone of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club.
There is no primary being held for the seat. Some have been critical that the candidates for the few open state legislature seats in this off-year election have been hand-selected by party bosses.
"I'm not sure what that means. That sounds like a dirty kind of, 'Ooh! The bad guys! The terrible back-filled room,'" Seddio said. "Look around this room. Do you see anybody who seems significantly potent in any way? These are the regular people."
Persaud says she looks forward to serving in the upper house.
Persaud is expected to be formally nominated at a meeting scheduled for next month. Once she is selected, she will stand for election in November.