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Caribbean nationals contest New York general elections

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — Caribbean nationals were joining New Yorkers at the polls on Tuesday to pick candidates for predominantly Caribbean districts as well as choosing the city’s first new mayor in 12 years.

Two Caribbean candidates are seeking re-election in the general elections: Haitian-born Dr Mathieu Eugene and Grenadian American Jumaane Williams.

Eugene, who staved off strong challenges from three contenders in the predominantly Caribbean 40th Council District in Brooklyn, in the Democratic Primary elections in September, is seeking his second four-year term.

He is being challenged by Sylvia Kinard, who placed third in the Democratic Primary. Kinard is running on the Rent is too Damn High Party, line.

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“I have to win today. I have no choice,”Eugene, the first Haitian to hold elective office in New York City, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) after casting his ballot Tuesday.

“We’re going to win big. My campaign is working very hard. I have to win for the people. I have to get the opportunity to continue to serve the people.”

Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, who handsomely won the Democratic Primary in September, is challenged by Guyanese Erlene King, of the Rent is too Damn High Party.

“The people elected me in the Democratic Primary, and I'm hopeful that they will vote for me in the general elections,” said Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.

“I want to return to office to continue to work for the community, said Williams, who, too, is seeking a second four-year term.

Voters are also choosing between Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, whose wife’s grandparents are from Barbados and St Lucia, and Republican challenger Joe Lhota.

De Blasio had defeated his main rival, Bill Thompson, whose grandparents are from St Kitts, in the Democratic Primary in September.

Recent polls show de Blasio well in the lead with 65 per cent of likely voters backing him, compared to 26 per cent for Lhota.

The polling stations, which opened at 6:00 am, close at 9:00 pm.

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