Complete guide to primary election races in Coney Island

Posters supporting city council candidates Marat Filler (left) and Chaim Deutsch (right) lined the window of local storefronts ahead of the Sept. 12 primary election.

Coney Island residents will head to ballot box on Tuesday to determine who will represent their respective parties in the Nov. 7 general election.

Read below to find a complete guide featuring the candidates, voting locations, and election times in Coney Island.

Who is running?

1. City Council (Democrat)

47th District (Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend, Sea Gate)

NoteCouncilmember Mark Treyger is running for re-election and represents most of Coney Island, but does not have a Democratic challenger and will not be on the ballot. He will face Republican Raimondo Denaro in the general election on Nov. 7.

48th District (Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Homecrest, Trump Village, Luna Park, Brightwater Towers, Midwood)

Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, whose district largely covers Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach but also extends to the eastern end of Coney Island, is facing primary challenger Marat Filler. Republican Steve Saperstein is running unopposed and will face the winner of the Democratic primary race in the general election on Nov. 7.

This race will only be on your ballot if you live east of W. 12 St.

Deutsch has landed the endorsements of five police unions as well as the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association and the Uniformed Firefighters Association. The incumbent has touted his work in helping the city adopt a state-led effort to raise minimum income limits for property tax relief among seniors and disabled homeowners, while also claiming to have fought against homelessness through “innovative policies”. Deutsch has worked with Treyger to push for the landmarking of the boardwalk, an effort that was endorsed by Mayor de Blasio in a town hall last month in Coney Island.

Deutsch serves on the Aging, Contracts, Education, Oversight and Investigation, Public Safety, and Waterfront Committees. His top three issues in the upcoming election are improving quality of life, fighting for seniors, and protecting health and safety of families.

According to Brooklyn Daily, Deutsch vowed earlier this year to remove himself from a six-figure role as president of Chasa Management real estate company ahead of a Jan 1, 2018 law that will ban city council members from earning outside income while in office.

Filler, who owns a catering business and previously owned a pizzeria, has operated a very low-profile campaign online in his effort to unseat Deutsch. He listed a campaign website, but that is no longer up. In a campaign video, he argued that constituents received little help after Sandy and that he would seek to lower taxes and “reduce unnecessary bureaucracy to help stimulate jobs.” He has listed healthcare/elder issues, education, and job creation as his top three issues. Despite having a limited online presence, Filler’s campaign posters are visible on storefront windows throughout Brighton Beach.

Deutsch has received twice as many financial contributions toward his campaign, according to NYC Campaign Finance Board filings. The average contribution to Filler’s campaign is $77 — significantly lower than the $334 average donation to Deutsch’s campaign. In total, Deutsch has raked in $101, 072, while Filler has received just $14,010.

Deutsch’s biggest donors — those who pitched in at least $2,700 — include real estate developers, investors, and accounting executives. Filler’s top donation thus far is just $1,000.

2. Public Advocate (Democrat)

Incumbent Letitia James will face challenger David C. Eisenbach in a one-on-one Democratic primary race for Public Advocate.

The city’s public advocate largely serves in a watchdog capacity by investigating complaints, keeping agencies in check and amplifying the concerns of constituents citywide. James, the first black woman to hold a citywide office, has focused on exposing shady landlords; protecting the undocumented, disabled, and minority populations; and calling out instances of fraud.

In her re-election campaign, James is highlighting her work — such as passing a law banning employers from asking applicants about previous salary information — to further expand her goals as public advocate. She vows to even the playing field in the realm of criminal justice; preserve affordable housing and expand it further; continue to make the city’s most vulnerable children a priority; expand employee ownership and fight for small businesses to grow the city’s communities; and prevent gun violence.

Eisenbach is a professor at Columbia University, where he teaches classes on LGBT history, the US presidency, and Western Civilization, according to his campaign page. He is calling for the cleaning up City Hall and slammed Mayor de Blasio’s “pay-for-play” controversy. His goal is to protect small businesses, outline strategic development structures to maximize affordable housing, and support lawsuits on behalf of 9/11 victims. He also says he wants to end common core, revamp the homelessness approach, keep tabs on college costs, investigate and trace NYCHA funding to make sure money is accounted for, and make Riker’s Island a priority on Day 1 — although he doesn’t say what he’d do with Riker’s.

3. Kings County District Attorney (Democrat)

Five candidates are vying to unseat acting DA Eric Gonzalez, who has served in the role since former DA Ken Thompson died of cancer in 2016.

Gonzalez will look to continue his track record of focusing less on lower-level offenses and more on championing bail reform, dismissing old convictions, helping the undocumented population, and other underprivileged groups. He will face a rather crowded field of Democratic opponents; Vincent Gentile, Anne Swern, Marc Fliedner, Ama Dwimoh, and Patricia Gatling — most of whom have similar priorities as Gonzalez — will each have to convince Brooklynites that they are the better option if they hope to stand a chance.

4. Mayor (Democrat)

Mayor de Blasio weathered the storm of US Attorney Preet Bharara’s federal corruption probe into his 2013 campaign finances to determine whether donors were given special treatment. The mayor escaped unscathed — on paper, at least — and is seeking re-election in 2017.

The mayor’s past controversies have come back to haunt him in the primary race, but none of his four Democratic opponents have been able to make a significant dent in the incumbent’s re-election chances. In a heavily Democratic city, the mayor is equipped with momentum stemming from key signature achievements in his first team: he implemented universal pre-k, expanded paid sick leave, raised the minimum wage, expanded affordable housing, froze rents, and boosted the minimum wage. Plus, crime is down and test scores are up.

De Blasio was asked at a recent town hall meeting about a decades-old mayoral promise of a community center in Coney Island. He said he was unaware of it but seemed open to exploring the possibility of building one. Regarding ferry service in Coney Island, the mayor said the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will consider expanding the city’s ferry service to places like Coney Island in the next couple years if ridership and demand remain high enough.

Former city councilmember Sal Albanese is the only candidate to qualify for debates against de Blasio, but Richard S. Bashner, Bob Gangi, and Mike Tolkin are also running for mayor.

Gangi is an outspoken progressive who prioritizes social justice issues; Bashner is a community board member and commercial attorney who is calling for government transparency; Albanese is shining a light on what he believes are de Blasio’s pitfalls on issues such as housing and mass transportation; and Tolkin, a young tech entrepreneur, is focused on addressing economic issues.

The winner of the Democratic primary race will face Republican Nicole Malliotakis in the general election on Nov. 7.

5. Borough President (Democrat)

Brooklyn borough president Eric L. Adams is seeking re-election, but does not have a Democratic challenger and will not be on the primary election ballot.

6. Comptroller (Democrat)

Comptroller Scott Stringer is seeking re-election, but does not have a Democratic challenger and will not be on the primary election ballot.

Other races on the ballot:

7. Kings County Civil Court Judge (Democrat)


Where to vote?

Below are some of the polling sites for residents around the Coney Island area. For more specific locations based on your home address, click here.

PS 329, 2929 West 30 Street, Brooklyn, NY 11224

PS 90, 2840 West 12 Street, Brooklyn, NY 11224

Haber House, 3024 West 24 Street, Brooklyn, NY 11224

When to vote?

The primary election will take place on Sept. 12 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

About Matt Tracy 159 Articles
Matt is a reporter with experience covering neighborhood news, politics, sports, and more. Send news tips to

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