Democratic primary challenger Jordan Wilson is attacking freshman Assemb. Kimberly Jean-Pierre for taking paychecks totaling $7,384 from the Suffolk Democratic Committee for the first six months of 2016 while at the same time representing the 11th District in Albany.
Jean-Pierre received a dozen paychecks of $615.38 each, described as wages and payroll expenses for Jan. 29 to June 20, according to a July 15 campaign disclosure report.
Wilson said taking the money from the Democratic Party makes her beholden to party officials.
“It calls into question where her loyalties lie,” said Wilson, 53, a mental health counselor from North Babylon. “She’s supposed to represent the taxpayers, not take money from party leaders.”
Jean-Pierre, of Wyandanch, said the Assembly is her full-time job and that her party work was “very part-time,” taking four to 10 hours a week. She said she is chairing a committee to register students and young professionals to boost Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“It’s something I’m very passionate about because it is important we get young people involved with voting,” she said. “It saddens me he’s focusing on attacks instead of what he plans to do for the community.”
Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, returned fire, saying it’s Wilson’s independence that primary voters should question.
“The last time he ran it was as a Republican,” Schaffer said. “Is he loyal to the party of Donald Trump or Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton?”
Wilson said he is a lifelong Democrat and only ran on the GOP line in 2008 because it was a special election where there was no primary and party leaders controlled the nomination.