Assembly-elect Lester Chang’s eligibility under review due to residency issues
The future of the 49th Assembly District is up in the air as Assembly-elect Lester Chang’s eligibility is in question due to residency issues in Brooklyn.
Community members joined the Asian Wave Alliance on Tuesday to rally after the King’s County Democratic County Committee and Assembly speaker Carl Heastie released statements saying they are investigating allegations regarding Chang’s residency requirements.
The state’s constitution requires candidates to live in the county they would serve for at least a year before election.
According to reports, Chang registered to vote in Brooklyn in February, but was previously registered to vote in Manhattan.
Chang won 52% of the vote in November’s general election, beating his opponent Assemblymember Peter Abbate, who has held the seat since 1986.
Voters who support Chang say they are pushing for him to serve because they feel he has the best interest of the community.
"This community needs to be represented by the people that voted him in,” says Soya Radin of Borough Park. “He won. The people have spoken."
An Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing will be held on Dec. 19 to review Chang’s eligibility to hold the seat, according to Assembly Speaker Heastie’s office.
If the assembly votes that Chang is not eligible, Gov. Kathy Hochul would then announce a special occasion election.