By W. Taharka Robinson
The Kings County Democratic Party broke barriers last week by nominating seven people of color to the Kings County Supreme Court. Judge Robin Sheares, judge Cheryl Gonzales, Judge Craig S. Walker. Judge Lorna McAllister, Judge Cenceria Edwards, Judge Dweynie Paul and Judge Patria Frias- Colón were nominated by the Kings County Democratic Organization to be on the ballot as candidates for justice of the Supreme Court in November.
This is the first time that this many people of color were nominated. One seasoned Democratic Leader from Bay Ridge said to me that Brooklyn has changed over the years. There are Countywide seats and district seats. People of color were discouraged from running for countywide seats, due to their ethnicity or presumed lack of fiscal resources.
Years ago, if a person of color wanted to run for judge in Kings County, they were told they had to wait their turn and were relegated to run in the 2nd, 4th ,6th and 7th municipal districts. Those districts were more amenable to people of color running for judge. In 2002 looking at the new maps after redistricting with the new voting demographics, there was opportunity for people of color to become a judge running in the Kings County Civil Court countywide Judicial Democratic Primary.
On Thursday August 4th, 2022, the Kings County Democratic Party made history by nominating seven judges of color to the Supreme Court. Five of those judges are residents of the Bedford Stuyvesant community. This was accomplished with the leadership of Kings County Democratic Chair Rodnyse Bichotte Hermylyn, the Honorable Annette M. Robinson and Kings County Democratic Vice Chair Henry L. Butler.
Those wining nominees were a diverse group with Judge Dweynie E. Paul slated to become the first-ever Haitian-American NYS Supreme Court Justice in Kings County Judge Patria Frias-Colón. the first Dominican-born in Kings County, and Judge Lorna J. McAllister, who is of Jamaican descent.
Judge Craig Walker summed it up for many: “All my adult life has been about service to my country and to the people of Brooklyn. I am grateful for this nomination which will allow me to continue to serve.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Rev. Taharka Robinson has successfully managed the campaigns of 11 Kings County countywide Judicial Primary candidates And 6 Kings County Municipal District Candidates.)