2009-05-29 / Top Stories

Hooks Drops Out Of 31st Council Race

By Miriam Rosenberg

David Hooks, during a candidate forum earlier this week, announces that he is dropping out of the race to unseat incumbent city councilman James Sanders Jr. due to, what he called, a lack of institutional "Democratic support from the county." David Hooks, during a candidate forum earlier this week, announces that he is dropping out of the race to unseat incumbent city councilman James Sanders Jr. due to, what he called, a lack of institutional "Democratic support from the county." Now there are four. At a candidate forum held this week in Arverne, one of the five men challenging incumbent councilman James Sanders Jr. for the 31st Councilmanic seat dropped out of the race after he was unable to gather enough party support from the county.

In what was a surprise to his supporters, David Hooks - a locally known activist and businessman - announced on Tuesday he would not be running in September's primary.

"Unfortunately I was unable to secure the kind of institutional, in other words - Democratic — support from the county. Whereas the last time I ran against our councilman I had the county support," said Hooks at the beginning of the forum held at the Blanche Day Care Center II on May 26. "I've been working the phones all day. I have been unable to secure the union support. So therefore, I must not do this because this would be a very futile gesture on my part. [So] in keeping with unity and concern for the peninsula where I live and where I grew up, I must tell you - unfortunately for me - I will not be running.

"If it was there, I would do it. When it isn't there you have to be honest with yourself. You have to step up and you have to bite the bullet. I'm not going to chase a dream and have you guys thinking we can do something."

While he has taken himself out of the contest, Hooks promised that "… however the peninsula goes that's how I'm going. However the Thurgood Marshall Democratic Club goes, that's how I have to go. It's about unity."

Hooks concluded by saying, "I apologize to you, but if you can't do it, you can't do it."

This is the second time Hooks has attempted to unseat Sanders. In 2005, even though he was the party's choice, Hooks - in a two-man primary race - lost to Sanders by receiving 40 percent of the vote to Sanders' 60 percent.

Remaining in the race to unseat Sanders are Marq Claxton, Michael Duncan, Jacques Leandre and Fred Lewis.

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