The Clarkes' Candidate: Dr. Mathieu Eugene

Yvette Clarke, her mother Una and their political club have decided to endorse Dr. Mathieu Eugene to succeed Yvette in the City Council.

“Yvette and I are sparing no effort to help someone who will build on our legacy and do better than we did and that person is Mathieu Eugene,” Una told me when reached on her cell phone just now, on her way to DC where Yvette and others are to be honored by Jamaican dignitaries.

“I think he will make an excellent and competent council member,” Una said.

What’s interesting is that they opted not to endorse one of Yvette’s fundraisers, and one of the only women in the race, Jennifer James.

Yvette’s congressional campaign, you may remember, had focused on the fact that she was the only female in the field. At one point, Yvette said, “Imagine a Congress that was half female, allowing our children to be sent to war, in harms way without an extremely good reason.”

But Una told me that Eugene’s relationship with the immigrant community superseded the gender argument.

When I noted James was one of the only women in the race, Una said, “That is not all that it takes to be a candidate. She empathizes with the poor, but Mathieu Eugene is a first-generation immigrant, like I am. He understands the overcrowding, he understands the issues in the community, the needs of the poorest of the poor in the community.”

“I have nothing against Jennifer James but she has no deep roots in the community,” she continued. “She came to raise money for the congresswoman. That’s the extent of how I know her.”

— Azi Paybarah