A candidate to be a district leader for the Democratic Party in South Brooklyn who faced accusations of antisemitism — despite being Jewish himself — has announced he is no longer campaigning.
Noah Weston, who was running for district leader for Assembly District 46, which includes parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Coney Island, announced May 31 that ongoing threats and attacks on his character have led him to believe he can no longer justify continuing to campaign for the position.
“In the last three months, I’ve experienced a defamatory campaign to smear me as antisemitic, vile stories in multiple major news outlets and waves of hateful and threatening messages from police and their supporters, including some messages that named my family,” Weston, who was unable to be interviewed prior to publication, said in video posted to Twitter.
Weston said those problems initially caused him to pause campaigning entirely and as he evaluated ways to restart, he found himself questioning whether it was fair to ask volunteers to canvass, or to ask businesses to put his poster in their window “when I know they might get a brick through it, or worse.”
He also said in the video that in seeing other political officeholders and candidates distancing themselves from him, he began to believe that if he won, it would be hard for him to actually do anything.
Throughout these events, I’ve watched supposed allies distance themselves or disavow me and demonstrate that even if I won,” Weston said, “I would have so little solidarity from other district leaders or other officials that it would render the position useless, at least in terms of its statutory responsibilities.”
District leader is an unpaid position that is elected during the primary election. The Democratic Party requires two per assembly district, one male and one female, whose responsibilities include sitting on the County Democratic Committee’s Executive Committee and influencing the nomination of judges.
Weston went on to say in his video that it’s not just his personal circumstances that have influenced his decision — the aftermaths of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Tex., the racist mass shooting in Buffalo and other attacks have convinced him that the Democratic Party is unwilling to take action to stop shootings or any other modern threat.
“Even most progressive lack the backbone, the conscience, to name the worst threats we face,” he said.
Even in New York City, Weston said, “I haven’t seen almost anybody, including folks that I would be a district leader with, mention the police’s role in letting the children be murdered.”
He said, that being the case, he is questioning what the point is of running for district leader and working with those same elected officials whose backbone he is doubting.
“We’re running out of time and I would be of more use, I think, to communities doing work that empowers and organizes people to protect each other rather than chipping away at the goal of a more responsive Democratic Party,” Weston said. “And those who are still fighting that fight and those who are good at it, keep doing it, I won’t discourage you from it. But I have to devote myself elsewhere. And I hope you understand and I apologize if anyone was let down, but I promise to work to still build community power and stand alongside you against the forces of oppression.”
Weston said his name will remain on the ballot for the primary election for State Assembly and statewide races, which is still being held in just a few weeks on June 28 (congressional and State Senate races will have their primaries on Aug. 23 after a fight over redistricting left final maps drawn late).