By AHAQIR ISHAQ
Jim Brennan, who represented Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Kensington in the Assembly for 32 years, isn’t running for re-election. But his impact is strongly felt as he endorsed fellow Democrat Robert Carroll in the race.
Carroll, an attorney and Brooklyn native, said running for Assembly only crossed his mind after Brennan decided to retire. “I was not expecting to do this, not this year,” he said.
Carroll lives in the same neighborhood where he grew up, Windsor Terrace. He has entered the record books as the youngest president of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, a political club serving Park Slope and Windsor Terrace. It is one of the oldest political reform clubs in Brooklyn.
Glenn Nocera, who is is running against Carroll on the Republican and Conservative lines, hails from Kensington. He is a campus security officer at Brooklyn College and also an alumnus of the college, where he started and led the Brooklyn College Young Republican Club. He served as president of the borough-wide Young Republican Club from 2011 to 2015 and is now its board chairman, and has held numerous other Republican posts in Brooklyn, including district leader.
Politics is the name of the game in Carroll’s household. His grandfather co-founded the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats. His father, an accomplished election law attorney, was also president of the club and ran unsuccessfully against Mayor Bill de Blasio for the 39th Council District in the 2001 Democratic primary.
“My family has been active for three generations and I am happy to continue it today,” said Carroll.
His opponent has also served as president of a political club with a long history: the Brooklyn Young Republican Club. It was founded in 1880 and, according to Nocera, presidents William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover all addressed the club. Nocera is also president of the Brooklyn Tea Party, which according to its website is a movement and a political party.
“The Brooklyn Tea Party is about the government being held responsible to the people,” Nocera said. “We are for reducing government spending, lowering government debt, opposing tax increases, and opposing new taxes. A recent example on the city level is when the City Council proposed a five-cent fee on all plastic bags. This was not a good idea. Many New Yorkers are on fixed budget and any slight increase can make or break them financially.”
Some of the causes Carroll plans to advocate if elected include fully funding schools, safe parks, clean and well maintained subways and buses, preserving real estate and improving trust in government.
Carroll is also promising big change if elected. He considers himself a reformer and said he wants to end corruption in politics.
“The political reform movement in New York City stretches back to the 1830s and possibly earlier,” Carroll said in an interview with Kings County Politics. “When I speak about reform I am talking about bringing transparency to our state government, closing corporate contribution loopholes, liberalizing our ballot access and voting laws, and creating a general sense that there is an even playing field for average people..”The sentiment is shared by Nocera, who also says politicians think about themselves first and the people second.
“If elected one of my main focuses within the first few months is to make sure I have a great team in place at my district office, so I could serve the great people of the 44th AD with their many concerns and needs,” he said. “I would focus on in Albany in making sure the politicians take their hands out of our pockets and actually have them account for where our money that we pay in taxes goes to. We pay far too much taxes to settle for second rate services.”
According to Kings County Politics, Nocera is “a hardcore Donald Trump supporter.” He doesn’t think that negative coverage of Trump will trickle down to other Republicans, especially not in New York.
Nocera said that Republicans are outnumbered by Democrats in New York City by 10 to 1. “But that’s OK, because I hope that the people of my district will see me as a person who will fight for them in Albany and not prejudge me because of what the false media narrative that has been portrayed about Republicans,” he said.
Photos: Robert Carroll, top, the Democratic candidate for Assembly in the 44th District, and Glenn Nocera, the Republican candidate.