The 30th Assembly District officially has a new leader for the first time in nearly two decades. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
For Brian Barnwell, the new assembly member representing the 30th district, his campaign strategy was simple: get out and talk to people.
"We called thousands of people, we sent thousands of letters, personal letters, it really has been door knocking and grass roots campaigning," said Barnwell.
Barnwell, an attorney and political newcomer defeated his Republican challenger Tony Nunziato, taking almost 68 percent of the votes.
It's the second victory for Barnwell, who upset the longtime incumbent Marge Markey in September's primary. Markey has held the 30th District seat since 1998, representing parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Middle Village and Astoria.
"I think it was just about accessibility. People are tired of politicians you can't talk to, you know you can't talk to anyone. If you have an issue in the community, you don't know what to do," said Barnwell.
Sentiments his supporters echo.
"Whoever was representing this community was stagnant for so many years and people got fed up and tired. And that's what happens. And the people of this community stood up and said 'you know what? Enough is enough.' And Brian Barnwell came in at a great time," said one supporter.
Barnwell gained a lot of support after taking a firm stance against turning a Maspeth hotel into a homeless shelter. He says once he's in Albany, he plans on bringing new legislation to the table.
"The community is not backing down. That's where were at right now. We're going to need legislation; we're going to need to fight it in the court because de Blasio is not backing down," said Barnwell.
Nunziato congratulated Barnwell on his campaign Facebook page, saying he hopes to work with him to make the community better. That’s something Barnwell says he looks forward to as well.