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If Borough President Marty Markowitz is a political locomotive, then newcomer Eugene Myrick – his challenger in the September Democratic primary -- is the Little Engine that Could, spouting the age-old mantra, “I think I can… I think I can…I think I can.”
“Everybody is beatable,” the 37-year-old political neophyte said last week. “It just takes one day where all the stars are in place.”
Speaking from his Flatbush campaign office, the East New York native and Thomas Jefferson High School graduate said he’s running against Markowitz because several borough neighborhoods “are being totally neglected” by the borough president’s office.
“These neighborhoods don’t receive any funding and all we hear is that [Markowitz] wants to spend $50 million for an amphitheater in Brighton Beach that many in the community don’t even want,” he said. “There are parks and housing developments desperately in need of repair and schools that need centers. I just want to bring resources to neighborhoods that have been neglected.”
Although he is proud of being an “early supporter” of Barack Obama’s run for president, Myrick, who runs a wedding web site entitled “Chocolate Brides” with his wife, radio personality Kesha Monk, admits that he’s never waded in Brooklyn’s political waters before.
In challenging Markowitz, he’s jumped into a shark tank.
As he seeks his third term in office, Brooklyn’s head cheerleader is considered to be one of the most popular elected officials in the borough, even though he has backed some unpopular development projects such as Atlantic Yards (which Myrick opposes).
Markowitz isn’t a babe in the woods when it comes to elections, either: before winning the borough presidency in 2001, he won 11 consecutive runs for State Senate in the Crown Heights/Flatbush district Eric Adams now represents.
Still, Markowitz isn’t taking any chances. The borough president dropped what was tantamount to an atom bomb when he handed in petitions – filing over 78,000 signatures of registered Democrats when 4,000 were needed to get on the ballot.
Myrick wouldn’t say exactly how many petitions he filed.
“It was several volumes,” he said. “We hit the minimum and kept going.”
According to published reports, however, Myrick filed just a few dozen more than the requirement, leaving him vulnerable to petition challenges.
Three Markowitz supporters did just that and filed general challenges with the Board of Elections last week, although if the challengers – who include Deborah S Kresh-Garcia, the director of the Borough President’s Seaside Summer Concert Series -- do not file specific challenges by July 26, Myrick will stay on the ballot.
Myrick said that he has retained an attorney to defend the challenges if and when they come.
Until then, he is going to focus on the campaign.
“We’re just focusing on what we have to do… pass out palm cards and talk about the campaign,” he said. “If these guys want to spend their money on legal challenges, let them.”
According to the Board of Elections, whoever wins the September primary will have to beat Republican challenger Marc D’Ottavio.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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