To Live, and Run, in Brooklyn

I’ve been waiting for the mud to start flying in the special election for Brooklyn’s 40th City Council district. And the wait is over.

Not long after Dr. Mathieu Eugene was formally endorsed by the congresswoman who most recently held the seat, one of his opponents noted that Eugene doesn’t live in the district. “This location is in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, miles outside of the District,” said Joel Toney’s campaign in a public statement.

“Mathieu Eugene therefore has a moral and political obligation to explain his candidacy in the context of his refusal to live in the very community he seeks to represent, and among the voters he been attempting to deceive into believing that he is a resident of their community.”

Moral obligation? Deceive? What exactly is all this about again?

There have been grumblings about the residency of another candidate in the race, but nothing has been as pointed as Toney’s attack. It seems over the top to say the least, but it’s also a little premature, according to the law.

A person running for City Council has to live in the district “on the day they’re elected,” according to election law expert Jerry Goldfeder (with whom I’ve discussed residency issues before).

Either way, I have a feeling this is a debate that won’t end until Feb. 20th.

– Azi Paybarah