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NY Post
New York Post
25 Mar 2023

NextImg:NYC’s new Asian Council district primed to be snatched by Republicans

Democrats could soon be feeling blue over the city’s first Asian-majority Council district.

Pols, pundits and activists on both sides of the political aisle say Republicans are primed to win the new “Asian opportunity” Council district in southern Brooklyn — even though it was carved out by a Dem-controlled commission.

The new 43rd Council district – covering Bensonhurst, New Utrecht, and parts of Dyker Heights and Sunset Park — is currently 54% Asian, records show.

Its boundaries go into effect in 2023.

Although 52% of its registered voters are Democrat compared to 14% Republican, voters there overwhelming backed Republican Curtis Sliwa over eventual winner Adams in the 2021 mayoral race, by 60-35% margin.

They also played a big role in Republican Lester Chang’s stunning election win last year over longtime Assemblyman Peter Abbate, Jr. (D-Dyker Heights).

In the last year, 457 new voters registered in the district as Republican, compared to 142 Democrats.

Experts said many Big Apple Asians are fed up with rising crime, new lottery-style admission rules for top schools, and other consequences of woke Democratic rule for more than a decade.

Yiatin Chu is president of the Asian Wave Alliance — which lobbied hard for the creation of the first New York City Council district comprised of mostly Asian-Americans.

“Democrats are fooling themselves if they presume they’ll just show up and win this race,” said Hank Shienkopf, a longtime Democratic political consultant.

“Crime is driving votes, and there’s a general sense in the Asian community that no one cares what they think. They feel alienated, so they’re voting more Republican.”

Yiatin Chu, president of the nonpartisan Asian Wave Alliance, agreed: “The community sees plenty of policies being pushed by Democrats are more criminal-friendly than they are for law-abiding citizens. I think the district is primed for a Republican to win, but in the end it will come down to who’s the best candidate.” 

The restricting commission recommended the City Council vote last year to set aside the new district while remaking political boundaries citywide.

The decision came after the Alliance and other similar-minded groups lobbied hard for Asians having a stronger voice at the polls, citing the surging Asian population in NYC.

“I think anytime you lump an ethnic block into the same district you’re going get cohesiveness, and in this case you’re seeing a fairly cohesive move to the right,” said Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island).

Sunset Park in Brooklyn will be part of the new Asian majority City Council district and is also home to the annual Luna New Year parade.
Sunset Park in Brooklyn will be part of the new Asian majority City Council district and is also home to the annual Luna New Year parade.
LightRocket via Getty Images

Chingkit “Jack” Ho, who is Chang’s community liaison director and is endorsed by Brooklyn’s Republican and Conservative parties, is slated to compete in the district’s June GOP primary against community activist Ying Tan.

Brooklyn Democrats have yet to endorse a primary candidate. Those competing include: Wai Lee Chan, a former community engagement director for Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) ; Susan Zhuang, chief of staff for Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn); and community activist Stanley Ng.

Republicans have a “real opportunity” to grab the seat because most residents believe Democratic policies spurred crime increases and a “declining quality of life and lack-of-education opportunity for their kids,” Ho said.

However, Chan said “this election is about pulling our community back to” the Democratic party, which “can bring real change — rather than employing scare tactics to gain power.”

Democrats – including five Asians — currently hold 46 of the 51 Council seats.