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October 2, 2022 4:49 pm

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Brooklyn News Review

King Wins Brooklyn Nomination for Civil Court Judgeship

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The Brooklyn Democratic Party on Tuesday evening voted for Attorney Edward King as the backfill pick for a Kings County Civil Court bench seat.

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King, a Black military veteran who has operated a private law practice for over 35 years, added even more diversity in a historic month for Brooklyn’s court system.

Edward Kings’ nomination to the Brooklyn judicial bench follows on the heels of August 4th’s Brooklyn Democratic Party Supreme Court Nomination Convention, in which 12 judges – the most diverse nomination slate in history – were voted in and will appear on the ballot for November’s Primary Election.

King will fill the vacancy of Judge Craig S. Walker, who was nominated in that slate for Justice of the New York State Supreme Court.

In the tight race against Stephen Burzio, the Principal Law Clerk for a New York State Supreme Court Judge in Brooklyn, Edward King won 279k to 219k in a weighted vote. Brooklyn’s 42 Assembly Districts were represented by in-person or proxy votes.

King is one of the few male Black judges in the Kings County Court system. Currently, there are 62 judgeships to hear major civil and criminal cases and only Justices Walker, Reginald Boddie, Larry Martin and Rupert Barry are male African-Americans.

Edward King and Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. Photo from Brooklyn Democrats.

“The Brooklyn Democratic Party is honored to add another highly-qualified judge and more diversity to our borough’s court system,” said Brooklyn Democratic Party leader Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. “King has over three decades of experience in civil litigation and proven devotion to upholding equitable and fair justice for Brooklynites.“

“We don’t have too many African American males or veterans on the bench at all and I think in Kings County there needs to be more,” King previously told Politics NY. “As a Civil Court Judge, I will try to give everyone a fair shot. And give them a just result based on the facts, circumstances, and the law.”

Edward King is a welcome addition to this year’s highly diverse and qualified class of Democratic Brooklyn judicial nominees. Alongside King, 12 Supreme Court Justices were nominated on the Party line, including seven Black judges, and an unprecedented nine women, many of whom are Hispanic and Caribbean descendants.

Brooklyn Democratic Party district leaders voted and gave impassioned speeches for the hotly-contested race.

The vote notably drew out prominent District Leaders (DLs) Inez and Charles Barron, who represent Assembly District 60 and have served as dynastic NY legislators for decades. The duo made a rare in-person vote and speech, stating that they both initially supported Edward King’s contender, but conceded that “we are here today to vote for Ed King because he went through the process. He has waited his time.”

“Even though the Barrons and I may differ on politics, we both care about our communities and diversifying the bench,” Bichotte Hermelyn later responded.

Alongside over half of Brooklyn’s Democratic Party district leaders, other notable supporters of Edward King included Assemblywoman Nikki Lucas (AD 60) and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.

Kings’ eventual win was up in the air, with notable votes for contender Stephen Burzio from Dem leaders like Frank Seddio, former Party Chair and current DL (59th AD). Although the vote was fractious, many leaders who supported Burzio had the ultimate goal of Democratic unity.

“Whoever wins tonight, we all won because we did it together,” said Frank Seddio.

Other Party leaders spoke to King’s devotion to delivering equitable justice. Arleny Alvarado-McCalla, Chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party Executive Committee stated, “King speaks and gives advice to the community. He will bring lawyer lingo down to make things understandable to make the right decision.”

King was raised by a single parent in Harlem. Growing up, he witnessed inequities in housing, education, and the administration of basic services in his community that inspired him to pursue equity and social justice for his community.

After serving in the Army for three years, King earned a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Legal Studies at City College of the City University of New York and a Juris Doctorate from Antioch Law School in 1983. For the past 35 years, King has been a solo practitioner, specializing in general civil law.

“With Judge King, and our diverse slate of NYS Supreme Court nominees, Brooklyn has an experienced and culturally competent judicial bench that reflects the wonderful diversity of our borough,” Bichotte Hermelyn said.

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