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Jumaane to 18: Thanks for the support

A community organizer turned City Council Democratic pick for the 45th Councilmanic District in Flatbush spent the day after his victory with friends and fellow activists he’s fought alongside with for years.

Twenty-four hours after beating incumbent Kendall Stewart, Jumaane Williams made a point to visit both Community Board 17 and Community Board 18 to thank them for all of their support as well as for being one of his many teachers.

In a surprising upset, Williams won the Democratic primary for the 45th Councilmanic District in Flatbush and Flatlands. Unofficial results show that he secured 36.9 percent of the vote. The two-term Stewart trailed behind Williams, garnering 24.67 percent of the votes cast.

After celebrating victory with his supporters that included ACORN, SEIU 1199, DC 37 and the Working Families Party, Williams said that the day after was just like any other day.

“I slept about two hours later than I usually do,” he told this paper. “Then I took care of a couple of phone calls.”

“It’s just starting to settle in,” he said when asked about the win, as well as the fact that some friends and supporters are calling him “Councilman.”

With Democrats overwhelming Republicans by a vast number in the 45th District, it’s almost assured that Williams will officially become Flatbush’s newest councilman on November 3.

“I believe I have a Republican challenger, but I’m not really worried,” he said. “I’m just looking forward with working with everybody.”

Williams managed to make it to the Community Board 17 meeting, but missed the Community Board 18 meeting by just a few minutes. Only a handful of members were on hand to congratulate him when he stepped into the hall at Aviator Sports and Recreation, where the board’s September meeting was held.

“I figured I’d go to CB 17 first because Community Board 18 usually ends a little late,” joked Williams, who has been a CB 18 board member for nearly a decade.

Now that he has been elected to political office, Williams note that he will have to step down from the board. His official severance from the Board probably won’t start until after the election is over, however.

CB 18 Chair Saul Needle said that the board had waited for his arrival to congratulate him, but the hour got too late.

“[Williams] is a very active Board member,” said Needle. “We are very excited for him.”

Board members were able to bestow congratulations to Williams’ mother Patricia, a regular attendee at Community Board meetings.

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