August 6, 2021

Media Contact: George Arzt
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Brooklyn Democratic Party Nominates Seven Supreme Court Justice Candidates for Election

BK Dems Nominates Diverse Slate of Candidates - Including a Number of "Firsts": 1st Orthodox Sephardic Female, 1st Muslim, 1st Asian-American Woman, 1st Cuban to be Nominated for NY Supreme Court Seat - Along with LGBTQ Judge and a Total of 6 Women Promoted at Once
(left to right) Hon. Lilian Wan, Hon. Dena Douglas, Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Hon. Joy Campanelli, Hon. Gina Levy Abadi
(Brooklyn, NY) -- The Kings County Democratic County Partys judicial convention convened successfully on Thursday evening to officially nominate seven judges to run on the party’s line in the 2021 election for open bench seats in Kings County Supreme Court. The judicial convention was a success, with over 175 delegates civically engaged in a fair, inclusive, and transparent process.
The nominees are: Consuelo "Connie" Mallafre-Melendez, Gina Levy Abadi, Dena Douglas, Carolyn Walker-Diallo, Richard Montelione, Joy Campanelli and Lillian Wan. These judges will now appear on the November General Election as the Democratic Nominees.
The candidates are the most diverse slate of judicial candidates to run for election from the party, with an unprecedented number of women nominees. This includes Joy Campanelli, a daughter of Italian Immigrants, Dena Douglas, a daughter of Grenadian Immigrants, Gina Levy Abadi, the first Sephardic Orthodox woman to run for the bench, who is currently serving as a Civil Court Judge, and Carolyn Walker Diallo, the first Muslim judge to ever serve in Kings County Supreme Court.

Additionally, Lilian Wan - currently the first female Asian-American woman to serve on the New York Court of Claims - is the first Asian-American woman to run for this bench, and Connie Mallafre-Melendez is the first Cuban-born immigrant to be nominated. Judge Richard Montelione adds to the diversity slate as being a member of the LGBTQ community as an openly gay Judge in the Supreme Court.
"The Brooklyn Democratic Party is committed to electing experienced and culturally sensitive judges who will deliver equitable, fair, and honest justice for each and every Brooklynite,” said Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. "We are proud to have nominated this slate of diverse, experienced, and capable candidates who deeply understand, reflect, and will administer equitable justice for our diverse Borough."
(left to right, top to bottom) Hon. Dena Douglas, Hon. Carolyn Walker Diallo, Hon. Consuelo "Connie" Mallafre-Melendez, Hon. Gina Levy Abadi, Hon. Joy Campanelli, Hon. Lillian Won
(left to right) Frank Carone, Councilmember Mark Treyger, Hon. Gina Levy Abadi, Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Heremelyn
I am thankful for all the Kings County District Leaders leadership in making this happen, including Jeff Feldman, who chaired and convened the convention, our Law Chair Frank Carone, Henry Butler and Arleny Alvarado McCalla, who helped convene, and Aaron Maslow, who swore the officers in."

"Justice Abadi has proven herself to be a highly competent and dedicated Civil and Criminal Court Judge who has brought equity and reform to the courts," said Bichotte Hermelyn. "She is a proud Orthodox Sephardic woman whose parents came to the U.S. to practice their faith openly. She has never forgotten her roots, and relentlessly fights for unbiased justice."
"Carolyn Walker Diallo is a highly-recognized and trailblazing justice. As the first Muslim to serve as a judge in the State of New York, who faced death threats while being sworn in, she has a first-hand understanding of the barriers facing minorities and has tirelessly fought to bring equity and reform to our justice system," Bichotte Heremlyn said.
"Justices Consuelo "Connie" Mallafre-Melendez, Dena Douglas, Joy Campanelli, Richard Montelione and Lillian Wan also have proven track records of progressive judicial and courtroom achievements, and have continued to help bring fairness and impartiality to the courts, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
I'm confident that Brooklyn's legal system will be in capable hands when these justices are elected," concluded Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn.
We represent Democrats from every corner of this borough, all part of the largest county party in the country. We are an inclusive and diverse organization with leaders and activists from every neighborhood of Brooklyn.
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