In the race to replace disgraced ex-Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., one candidate is already scooping up key establishment support.
Ineisha Williford, a staffer to Brooklyn Councilwoman Darlene Mealy, secured the backing of Borough President Eric Adams and Ms. Mealy at a Saturday fund-raising event, according to source at the event.
Both officials also appeared on the “meet and greet endorsement party” invitation calling Ms. Williford “our candidate.”
“Mealy kicked it off with a powerful speech. She said this district is hurting and dying for strong leadership and said that Ineisha is smart, hungry, and dedicated,” said one source who attended the event, which was held at Ms. Mealy’s Democratic clubhouse. “It was standing room only, a massive crowd, probably 150 people.”
“Eric Adams said something really similar,” the source recalled. “He said there was a stain in this district and we need to rally around someone who will do the right thing.” Mr. Adams previously represented a slightly overlapping district in the State Senate.
The kickoff event put to rest speculation that Ms. Mealy herself would run for the Brownsville-based Assembly seat, which opened after Mr. Boyland was convicted on corruption charges earlier this month, automatically expelling him from the chamber. Sources say Ms. Williford may also score the backing of the Brooklyn Democratic Party soon.
Ms. Williford is facing a packed field of Democratic candidates, including community activist Lori Boozer, who already boasts some organized labor support, and Anthony Jones who ran a strong challenge against Mr. Boyland in 2012. Several other candidates are expected to enter the fray as well.
A spokesman for Mr. Adams confirmed he is supporting Ms. Williford. Ms. Williford and Ms. Mealy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.