As the announcement of the expected date for the special election to replace former Assemblywoman Michele Titus’s southeast Queens seat approaches, activist and District Leader Richard David formally launched his candidacy on Monday, as insiders have expected him to do for months.
“It is an honor to ask for support to represent the hard working families of Assembly District 31. I have spent a lot of time in our communities, and talking with family and friends who have encouraged me to run,” said David.
Titus vacated her seat after being elected to the Queen Civil Court bench. Though he fundraised in an undisclosed campaign account, David, a York College adjunct professor, raised the most money of anyone in the race for the filing period that ended in January, as the Queens Eagle reported.
The district includes the neighborhoods adjacent to the JFK Airport, including Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Hammels, Richmond Hill, Rosedale, South Ozone Park, Springfield Gardens and Wakefield.
If Cuomo wishes to consolidate all the state’s special elections on the same day as the presidential primary on April 28, he will have to call them sometime between Feb. 9 and Feb. 19 in order to set in motion the required 70- to 80-day notification period.
David has served as a member of Queens Community Board 9 and worked as the Chief of Staff for the NYC Administration of Children’s Services. He lost a campaign for the 28th City Council District against Adrienne Adams in 2017.
“I came here as an undocumented dreamer 25 years ago. We had no health insurance. Going to school meant traveling across the borough. Then we came home to an empty house with single parents who actually worked night and day,” David said in his campaign video.
David will join a field of six other candidates, including Khaleel Anderson, a Rockaway community board member and activist; Derrick DeFlorimonte, member of Community Board 13 and a combat medic with the Army National Guard; Lisa George, a staffer from Senator James Sanders’ Rockaway office; Chiedu “Shea” Uzoigwe, a former staffer for Senator Sanders; Tavia Blakley, a former staffer for Assemblywoman Titus; and Varinder Singh, a real estate consultant and construction manager with HS Development Group.