43rd District prepares for special election

Residents will vote Tuesday for a new representative for the 43rd state Assembly seat after the previous officeholder left for a new job.

The special election will fill the void created when Assemblyman Karim Camara moved to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration.

The 43rd District covers parts of Crown Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and East Flatbush.

Four candidates are on the ballot.

Diana Richardson, of the Working Families Party, says affordable housing is the district's most pressing issue.

"We need to develop a housing program that works," Richardson says. "Eighty-twenty, with 80 being mostly luxury housing and 20 being affordable housing, is not a great equation for this community."

Shirley Patterson, the Independence Party candidate, has also raised the housing issue. She says she supports the strengthening of rent laws, which are set to expire in June, in favor of tenants.

Menachem Raitport, the only conservative in the race, says that the government should press high-rise developers for concessions to preserve affordable housing. He supported a 60 percent to 40 percent split, with the latter afforded to luxury development.

Geoffrey Davis, of the Love Yourself Party, says affordable housing is one of many issues he would like to work on. If elected, he says his top priority would be relief for Brooklyn residents who send their children to religious schools.

"Your child should go to the school that you worship at, and parents need an education investment tax credit," Davis says.

Davis also says gang violence is a key issue.

Polls are open Tuesday from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

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