Just after the victory of Mathieu Eugene’s 10-candidate run for Brooklyn’s 40th Council District on Tuesday, questions regarding his residency in the Flatbush district have now put his official claim to the seat on hold. Elected candidates must reside in the electing district during the time of the election, but not necessarily during the time of filing for nomination. There’s the rub. So today at City Hall, the expectations and celebrations of a political newcomer were met with a big halt as Dr. Eugene announced that he will not be sworn in until he has established residency.
Errol Louis of the Daily News points out that Mr. Eugene’s Canarsie address miles outside of the 40th District during the campaign still might be a problem. According to the ruling of Clarks vs McCoy over a similar case, the elected candidates do not have to be a resident during the time of filing for nomination. Louis responds, “That seems clear enough - but it means that, unless he went apartment hunting on Election Day, Eugene wasn't a resident when voters put him in.”
In response, Eugene’s attorney claims, “Eugene had at least 10 days to get settled in the district, since that's how long it takes for the Board of Elections to certify vote results.” The Politicker's Azi Paybarah notes the irony in the situation as Eugene's big supporter Yvette Clarke considered then-opponent David Yassky a "racial carpetbagger" for moving to the district before election. (Clarke ended up winning the Congressional election.)
And when was the last time anyone found a new apartment in 10 ten days? It will have to be a quick and dirty job. Brooklynites, just keep a look out for that strange looking apartment ad: Professional male, mid-50’s, Haitian Doctor/Councilmember, Non-smoker, loves helping the community, seeking quiet Crown Heights or Flatbush location.