2001-09-29 / Front Page

Sanders Trounces The Competition

Sanders Trounces The Competition


By Gary G. Toms

During the early stages of the election, many candidates were vying to obtain a political stronghold on the 31st Councilmanic District. As the months progressed, and the Democratic "machine" chose to support Charlotte Jefferson, many began to conclude that the race was pretty much over. With little knowledge of any of the candidates, who were mainly from the mainland, it seemed the voters would all be casting their ballots for Jefferson, with a few votes trickling down to the other candidates. Then, the unthinkable happened.

Rockaway staple, and Vice President of Community School Board 27 for the last 10 years, James Sanders, Jr. surged ahead going into the final six weeks of campaigning. The huge leap was due in part to major support from the Orthodox Jewish community and residents from the African-American community, who recognized his past achievements within the Far Rockaway, Arverne, Edgemere and Hammel areas.

Sanders beat nearly all of the candidates by more than double the percentage points. The only candidate to post numbers close to Sanders was James Blake. The unofficial final tally is as follows:

(DEM) James Sanders, Jr. (29%)

(DEM) James Blake (16%)

(DEM) Charlotte Jefferson (13%)

(DEM) Amanda L. Clarke (13%)

(DEM) Henrietta Fullard (11%)

(DEM) Edward J. Lewis (9%)

(DEM) Carol B. Howell (5%)

(DEM) David R. Hooks, Jr. (4%)

The Wave made efforts to contact Sanders to obtain comments regarding his victory, but our attempts were not successful by the time we went to press on late Thursday.

The Wave also gave its endorsement to Sanders because of his longtime standing in the Rockaway community as a man of honesty and integrity.

With an unofficial total of 12,000 votes cast, which is extremely good in terms of voter turnout, the breakdown shows James Sanders, Jr. with 3,793; James Blake with 2,060; Charlotte Jefferson with 1,743; Amanda Clarke with 1,734; Henrietta Fullard with 1,426; Edward J. Lewis with 1,142; Carol B. Howell with 691; and David R. Hooks, Jr. with 508.

Sanders will now be facing Everly Brown (Republican), Edward J. Lewis (Liberal), Roslyn O’Neal (Independent), and Francisco A. Pena (Green Party) in the general election in November.


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