Ari Kagan, a Brooklyn city councilman representing the 47th district, announced his decision to switch parties on Monday. Kagan also declared his desire to run against Democrat Justin Brannan in the newly reconfigured district in the general election next year. Kagan stated that one of the primary reasons he left the Democrats was crime.
“In my humble judgment, during the last several years, the Democrat Party in NY started moving to the left at such a rapid pace that they were unable to keep up,” Kagan stated at a news conference on Monday, according to many. “And on numerous issues, year after year, month after month, I began to feel that it wasn’t me leaving the Democrat Party, but the Democratic Party very rapidly began to leave me.” Particularly on the most pressing issue of each day, public safety.”
“Every month, I wondered, ‘What am I doing in the Democratic Party?'” he added. “Everywhere I knocked on the doors in my own district, in southern Brooklyn, they said, ‘When are you transferring to the Republican Party?”
Kagan clearly stated that the city’s criminal reforms and increased crime were the primary reasons he was changing parties. He specifically mentioned Democratic policy suggestions such as banning solitary imprisonment and prohibiting landlords from conducting criminal background checks on potential renters.
“I believe the Democratic Party is doing everything in New York City right now to make everyone less safe,” he stated. According to NYPD crime figures reported by The Daily Wire, burglary, grand larceny, and rape were reduced by 14%, but other crimes soared. Felony assaults climbed by 3%, robberies by 3.6%, auto thefts by 9.4%, and 30 killings were reported in November, a 25% increase over the 25 murders reported in Nov. 2021.
In November 2021, Kagan was elected to the New York City Council. His district includes the communities of Coney Island, Gravesend, and Sea Gate. Kagan arrived in the United States in 1993 as an immigrant from Belarus and the son of Holocaust survivors. He attended Baruch University and worked under Comptroller John Liu and former Congressman Michael McMahon, as well as for Russian-language media in New York.
“We’re delighted to have him as a member of our conference,” Republican New York Council minority leader Joe Borelli stated during a news conference. “And I believe he will do an excellent job serving the residents of this area.”
Kagan’s political conversion comes at a time when Republicans are making substantial inroads in Brooklyn. Republicans flipped three state assembly seats in south Brooklyn, according to the New York Daily News. Republican Nicole Malliotakis was also re-elected by a wider margin than projected in New York’s 11th Congressional District, which includes both Kagan’s 47th and Brannan’s 43rd districts.