The 2014 political season is starting to look a lot like 2012 in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Assemblyman William Boyland, who is again facing corruption charges like he did two years ago, will be up against another crowded field of candidates if he chooses to seek re-election. And the latest candidate to announce a challenge, community activist Anthony Jones, ran against Mr. Boyland in 2012.
“It was a rough race but Anthony T. Jones did emerge as the runner-up,” Mr. Jones told Politicker this morning, noting he came in second in a field of seven candidates then. “Those other folks were ‘Boyland Incorporated'; … their whole aim and objective was to stop me.”
Mr. Jones believes that Mr. Boyland, currently on trial for his third indictment, will eventually be convicted and that the race will end up an open contest between himself and several other candidates, including Lori Boozer and Lamont Carolina. A staffer for Councilwoman Darlene Mealy has also registered to run in the race and Ms. Mealy herself is mulling a run of her own if Mr. Boyland is convicted.
But in this crowded field of candidates, Mr. Jones said he is convinced he will win.
“I haven’t stopped campaigning over the last two years but I don’t try to be on the news. I’m the silent activist,” said Mr. Jones. “I am that silent, it’s like a virus inside your body. I am a silent killer [of the political establishment] and my aim and objective is to educate the people of the district.”
“We cannot afford another 30 years of corrupt politics,” he added, alluding to the political dynasty that Mr. Boyland hails from.
Mr. Jones said this time around would be different because he plans on reaching beyond the small universe of voters who typically show up for Democratic primaries. To entice younger voters to the polls, the candidate is holding a contest to determine what his campaign slogan will be–winners can get a free trip to the barber, pizza and even cash.
“I want to engage the young people and one of the ways to engage young people is with monetary benefits,” Mr. Jones said. “Help me create a slogan that is a reflection of my campaign as well as the community and I will pay you for that idea.”
Mr. Boyland did not immediately return a request for comment.
Update (4:58 p.m.): Mr. Boyland weighed in on Mr. Jones’ challenge.
“Aspiring for public office is a right every American has the opportunity to pursue,” Mr. Boyland said in a statement. “I welcome the participation and the debate on public policy regarding the wonderful constituents of the 55th Assembly District.
I wish all the candidates well.”