With Perennial Candidate Disqualified, a Haitian-American Gets Her Shot

Zachary Lareche (Via Haitian Times)

The withdrawal of a perennial candidate for Brooklyn’s 42nd Assembly District clears the field for a serious challenge to the seat’s longtime incumbent, Rhoda Jacobs, from the Haitian-American Rodneyse Bichotte, the Haitian Times reported.

Zachary Lareche withdrew his candidacy for Brooklyn’s 42nd District on Tuesday after allegations that he submitted forged signatures to the election committee to get on the ballot, reported Farah Louis.

The 42nd Assembly Female District Leader Rodneyse Bichotte — currently candidate for the Assembly seat — and her running mate Josue Pierre (candidate for the Male District Leader seat) initiated legal proceedings against petitions submitted by the Lareche campaign.

This was Lareche’s third attempt to secure political office, the Haitian Times reported. Like Bichotte, he is Haitian-American, and political observers have hypothesized that he was planted on the ticket to take votes away from Bichotte, a district leader who poses a threat to the 34-year incumbent, Jacobs, the Haitian Times reported. Bichotte and her running mate, Josue Pierre, a candidate for the male district leader seat, initiated legal proceedings against the Lareche campaign, and hired a handwriting expert to invalidate hundreds of his petition signatures.

One of the reasons Rhoda Jacobs has retained her seat for 34 years is due to the crowded field of two or more black and Caribbean candidates seeking to unseat the incumbent in the same year. Perennials like Michele Adolphe and Zachary Lareche crowded the field, which many say allowed Ms. Jacobs to win past elections with a landslide. With a less cluttered stage, 42nd District can now witness a fair race between the last two women standing: Bichotte, the Haitian-American who has proven to be a savvy campaigner, and Jacobs, the entrenched incumbent.