A ‘Game Changer’ in the Flatbush Race?

Candidates for the 40th district City Council seat: Brian Cunningham (left) and incumbent Mathieu Eugene (Photo via The Haitian Times)

In a story for The Haitian Times, Vania Andre takes a look at the race for the 40th district City Council seat – which represents Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Park, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens – where Brian Cunningham is challenging incumbent Mathieu Eugene, the first Haitian member of the City Council. Cunningham, a Flatbush native who is of Jamaican descent, believes Eugene – who “was not immediately available for comment” – is not doing enough.

On Oct. 19 came a “possible game changer” in the race when the Working Families Party (WFP) endorsed Cunningham. The self-described “progressive political organization” was originally not going to endorse a candidate. In an interview with Kings County Politics, Eugene accused the WFP of lying “to many people.”

Dr. Jean Eddy Saint Paul, a political sociologist and founding director of CUNY’s Haitian Studies Institute, told The Haitian Times:

“Mathieu has been faced with a crisis of legitimacy,” Saint Paul said. “If he wants to be more successful, he needs to be more modern and democratize his political style.”

He commented on the WFP’s decision:

“The WFP endorsement of Cunningham hurt Eugene very badly,” Saint Paul said.


Go to The Haitian Times to see what may be the “only thing that would save” Eugene, according to Saint Paul, and how the two candidates’ differ in engaging voters online. Also read what Cunningham said to the publication regarding the “pride, dignity and satisfaction” the Caribbean diaspora had when Eugene first won, and why he believes it’s time for a change.

Also check out coverage from Kings County Politics on the final Nov. 5 debate between Eugene and Cunningham.

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