Hyndman wins Scarborough’s Assembly seat in landslide

By Sadef Ali Kully

Democrat Alicia Hyndman defeated the Republican candidate, Scherie Murray, Tuesday night in a landslide victory in the off-year general election for the state Assembly seat formerly held by William Scarborough.

On an unseasonably warm November day, the votes came in low and slow, according to the unofficial city Board of Elections results. With 87.1 percent tallied, Hyndman won 3,149 votes and Murray had 250 votes.

The unofficial total number of votes reported at 87.1 percent was 3,439, including write-ins — the lowest voter turnout in the history of the district.

The lowest voter turnout for the 29th Assembly District up until now was in 2014 when 17,226 votes were cast for Scarborough, when he ran unopposed on the ballot.

The position in Assembly District 29—which covers Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Laurelton and Rosedale—opened up when Scarborough resigned in May after pleading guilty to state and federal corruption charges.

The total population of the 29th State Assembly District is 124,000 people and an estimated 80 percent of the population is of voting age, according to CUNY’s Center for Urban Research.

Based on 2010 U.S. Census data, almost 50 percent of the citizen voting age group are African American. While both Asians and whites are estimated at 11 percent among the citizens of voting age, Hispanics are the third largest at 9 percent in the district.

Hyndman has been the president of District 29 Community Education Council for almost a decade. She announced her campaign in June and was endorsed by major Democratic elected officials and district leaders, including drawing strong support from former City Councilman Archie Spigner. Hyndman’s platform mainly focused on education, but she has spoken out on police community, criminal justice, the foreclosure crisis, job security and development in Jamaica.

Hyndman said she became an advocate for parents and students after she had trouble registering her daughter into a good school.

She voted earlier in the morning with her two daughters, 16-year old Nia and 5-year old Nyla Hyndman by her side.

Republican and Reform Party candidate Scherie Murray, a member of the Republican State Committee, was endorsed by the Republican and Reform Party. Murray founded the Esemel Group Inc., a television production and advertising company. She also ran against Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) in a 2013 special election for the 31st City Council District. Murray has contended in past debates that the district needed a positive change in leadership due to a corrupt Democratic regime in southeast Queens.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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