Democrat Brian Cunningham has been elected to Brooklyn’s 43rd Assembly District in a special election to replace former Assemblymember Diana Richardson, winning out over Working Families Party Candidate Jelanie DeShong.
Cunningham received 62.28% of the vote, according to the Board of Elections, while DeShong — who was backed by Richardson and State Sen. Zellnor Myrie — received 34.52%.
In a statement, Cunningham said he was honored to be elected to serve the district in Albany, adding, “I’m ready to wake up tomorrow and get to work on all of the progressive issues we need to move forward.”
He said he would be heading into the last minute budget negotiations in Albany and would “immediately begin co-sponsoring progressive legislation like the Universal Child Care Act, the New York Health Act, Good Cause Eviction, and more.”
“We have a lot to do to improve our communities and I don’t want to waste a single second.”
Cunningham succeeds Richardson who left the seat for spot in Borough Hall as deputy Brooklyn borough president. Cunningham’s term will expire in June, when Richardson’s would have, and he will need to run again in the June primary and November general election.
During the lead up to the special election, Cunningham was endorsed by the United Federation of Teachers, Mayor Eric Adams, the Brooklyn Democratic Party, Senator Kevin Parker, Councilmember Rita Joseph, former Councilmember Robert Cornegy, New York State United Teachers, New York Progressive Action Network, Black Leadership Action Coalition and the Brooklyn Progressive Alliance.
He has previously worked for Sen. Parker and former Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, and has most recently worked as director of operations at the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform.
DeShong, who was backed by WFP, Richardson, Sen. Myrie, Rep. Yvette Clarke and BP Antonio Reynoso, congratulated Cunningham on his win… but said the marathon continues, signaling his intention to run in the June primary.