Letter to the Editor: Republicans are an endangered species in Brooklyn

Photo courtesy of the New York State Assembly
With the defeat of incumbent Sen. Martin Golden, left, on November 7, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, center, becomes the last Republican official to represent part of Brooklyn.

To the editor:

With the loss of Republican State Senator Marty Golden and Congressmember Dan Donovan, GOP State Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis becomes the last Republican public official in Kings County.

The last Republican Brooklyn Borough President who also ran on the Fusion Party line was Lewis H. Pounds who served from 1913-1917. The last GOP District Attorney may have been from the same time period.

Based upon the recent election results and State Board of Elections registration figures as of November 1, 2018 — Brooklyn continues to be a permanent Democratic Party bastion. There are 1,025,058 Democrats versus 123,059 Republicans along with 4,204 Conservatives; 4,880 Working Families; 28,382 Independence; 3,077 Green; 848 Women’s Equity; 107 Reform; 538 Other; and 251,965 unaffiliated active registered voters. The numbers make Republicans irrelevant in virtually all contests for public office.

Kings County Republicans haven’t offered Democrats serious competition for public office on the city, state or federal level in years with the exception of Bay Ridge.

Despite overwhelming Democratic Party enrollment in Kings County, creative gerrymandering by the GOP controlled State Senate in 1970. 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010 continued to preserve the Bay Ridge based seat previously represented by Republican State Senators Bill Conklin, Chris Mega, Bob DiCarlo and formerly Martin Golden.

After the 1982 reapportionment, Democrats eliminated the districts of Brooklyn GOP Assemblymembers Vincent Riccio (51st); Florence Sullivan (50th); and Chris Mega (49th). Today, State Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis represents a hybrid Staten Island/Brooklyn district.

The last GOP NYC Councilmembers elected from Kings County were Council Minority leader Angelo Arculeo who served from 1962 – 1982 and Martin Golden who won the seat back one last time serving from 1998 – 2002.

For decades, party leadership gave up running real candidates with proper financing to challenge Democratic incumbents. They preferred living off the political patronage crumbs from the Kings County Democrats in exchange for taking a dive. Democrats in return gave the few GOP office holders a free ride. This combined with Democrats gerrymandering over decades of district boundaries contributed to atrophy resulting in Republicans disappearance today.

Enrolled Kings County Democrats outnumber Republicans eight to one.

Crossover Democrats, who voted for former Presidents Reagan and Bush Senior in the 1980s, former Senator D’Amato in 1980 – 1998; former Governor Pataki in 1994 – 2002, former Mayor Giuliani in the 1990s along with Mayor Bloomberg in 2001, 2005 and 2009 continue to move out of town, retire out of state or succumb to old age. There are no successful GOP outreach to new Caribbean, Hispanic, Asian, other immigrant groups or middle class African Americans. Once the GOP loses any incumbent City Council, State Assembly, State Senator or Congressional representative, they are never able to reclaim the district.

In Kings County, running as a Democrat or winning any Democratic Party primary is a sure bet to winning any general election. The remaining Brooklyn Republicans should consider moving to Staten Island. Despite a 2-to-1 Democrat to Republican enrollment, Richmond County still remains politically competitive for the GOP.

Larry Penner
Great Neck