Signs of Life in Brooklyn

A few days out from last week’s primary results, and it does look like the only really unexpected outcomes came in Brooklyn.

There had been general resignation that family dynasties in poor, politically disorganized neighborhoods were unavoidable; Darlene Mealy’s decisive victory over Frank Boyland disproved that one.

And there had been an assumption that, particularly outside Manhattan, where the Times holds sway, judicial races take place so far from voters’ consciousness that the candidates with money and party support inevitably win. But a reform judicial candidate, Margarita Lopez Torres, narrowly took the plum Surrogate’s job away from the party-backed candidate, dealing a real blow to elements of the Court Street bar and the Brooklyn Democratic Party. (Of course, the Party went ahead and got a second, presumably more cooperative Surrogate created by the State Legislature, so they won’t go hungry.)

It’s unclear whether those were isolated wins or stirrings of a reform movement, but Brooklyn’s local races have certainly become worth watching.