A nurse turned candidate is on the verge of unseating an incumbent Democrat in Brooklyn.

Souffrant Forest Campaign

Phara Souffrant Forest is a tenant organizer in Brooklyn and a nurse in the public hospital system.

Across the city, 30 Assembly races were over before a single vote is cast—they are one-candidate contests, usually with an incumbent assured another two years in Albany. Not so in Brooklyn’s 57th District, which covers Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights and parts of Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.

Not only is there a real race there on Nov. 3, but it is the challenger, not the incumbent, who seems to have all the advantages.

In the June primary, Phara Souffrant Forest beat Walter Mosley, who has represented the district since 2013, 55 percent to 45 percent. She won by a margin of 3,100 votes out of 28,000 cast.

Souffrant Forest, a nurse in the city’s Health & Hospitals system and a tenant organizer in Crown Heights, ran with the support of the Democratic Socialists of America and on a platform that calls for taking billions from the NYPD budget, allowing noncitizens to vote and allowing tenants to “to collectively purchase and run their buildings to meet human need, not line their landlord’s pockets.”

Now she has the Democratic line as Mosley attempts to hang on to his seat by running on the Working Families Party line. Mosley won the WFP’s endorsement before the primary, but the party now supports Souffrant Forest.

Mosely did not respond to requests to join Wednesday’s Max & Murphy Show, but Souffrant Forest did. Among other things, she discussed what she sees as the stakes in the race and in the next legislative session.

“In light of a pandemic where many people are without jobs, rent cancellation, that’s real. Eviction moratorium, that’s real,” she said. “That’s something that would literally save lives.”

Hear the conversation below, or listen to the full show, which includes an interview with Jennifer Jones Austin, a top nonprofit leader who is now part of a new police-reform effort.


Democratic Assembly candidate Phara Souffrant Forest


Max & Murphy Full Show of October 21, 2020

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