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Brooklyn Democrats back Richards for Queens BP, uniting political rivals

The leaders of the Brooklyn Democratic Party have endorsed Councilmember Donovan Richards for Queens borough president, uniting the organization with their long-time political rivals, the Queens County Democrats.

Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte, Councilmember Justin Brannan and Councilmember Farah Louis joined U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries in backing Richards Wednesday, less than two weeks before the March 24 special election. The Queens County Democratic Party endorsed Richards in December 2019.

The joint endorsements could mark a shift in New York City politics.

The Queens and Kings County Democratic organizations have long been at odds, often supporting different candidates for City Council speaker while vying for top committee leadership positions. The relationship between the two former party chairs, Joe Crowley in Queens and Frank Seddio in Brooklyn, reportedly eroded to the point where they were no longer on speaking terms.

Progressive political strategist Neal Kwatra said the two party chairs are heralding a new era for inter-borough unity on the Western tip of Long Island.

“I think Rodneyse is a different kind of leader,” Kwatra said. “She isn’t necessarily beholden to the rivalries of the past and she thinks like an organizer.”

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