TThe differences between the state congressional candidates for New York’s Assembly District 46 – the area spanning Coney Island, Sea Gate, and the surrounding area of South Brooklyn – were quite clear. The incumbent Mathylde Frontus, like her predecessors for the past 80 years, was a black Democrat; challenger Mark Szuszkiewicz was a white Republican. She raised $ 18,600 for her campaign. It only brought in $ 1,420. Frontus called for free courses in public colleges; Szuszkiewicz wanted a compulsory mechanics course that would teach children to build their own offices.
The main starting point is probably that Frontus does not think Donald Trump led a crusade to eradicate a cabal of satanic Hollywood pedophiles and Democrats controlling all American institutions. On social networks and elsewhere, Brooklyn Paper First noted, Szuszkiewicz openly embraced QAnon, the unfounded conspiracy theory that flourished under Trump’s presidency. “Complete with the hashtags #QAnon and #Q,” Braked wrote of a since deleted post on his Instagram, “Szuszkiewicz suggested that Tom Hanks became a Greek citizen after Greece declared pedophilia a disability.” (Notably, Greece has not declared pedophilia as a disability, and Tom Hanks was granted honorary Greek citizenship because his wife is Greek, they have owned a vacation home there for decades, and the couple have helped attract the international attention to the devastating forest fires near Athens in 2018.)
On Saturday, as a slice of the Brooklyn electorate applauded the ouster of another incumbent, Szuszkiewicz, backing QAnon, had taken a narrow lead. The election has yet to be called, but he currently claims some 54% of the district’s 32,920 votes. If Frontus does not close the gap of 1,520 votes, his challenger will join the new Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (also a Republican) in the selective club of elected officials supporting QAnon. He was also part of the much larger coalition of the truly elected COVID-19. On Instagram, Szuszkiewicz claimed the virus was “no more deadly than the flu”. (It’s much deadlier.) Last week Szuszkiewicz shared a video of his election night speech, featuring a large crowd inside where hardly anyone is wearing a mask.
On his website, Szuszkiewicz – who goes by “Skevich” – claims he “is not a power hungry politician”, citing previous gigs as a security guard, truck driver, retailer, agent. insurance, real estate broker and financial advisor. But thanks to many of those jobs, the Coney Island native had a more familiar pre-political background: acting.
“Whether it’s in character in a movie or interviewing sports figures or running for public office, people respond to authenticity. Similar skills are needed – to be present, to listen, to be honest, ”a campaign spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “Critics can be harsh, but they have nothing on the voters, who never hesitate to let you know quickly if they approve of your work. Taking action, which is both deeply personal and collaborative, is good preparation for politics.
Szuszkiewicz’s biography alleges that he “produced an award-winning local sports cable TV show where he interviewed many celebrities and athletes”, in addition to “a music TV show and a political TV show. where he interviewed former mayoral candidate Joe Lhota, former Congressman Michael Grimm and other politicians. The campaign site never names the TV shows or awards it has received, but does include a link. “There have been so many moments in my television career that going into the details of each story would make its own website,” Szuszkiewicz wrote. “Which one there is and this site is FinalTakes.com.”
Szuszkiewicz’s IMDb entry is short, with just four actor credits: a 2019 short called Needs, on students with special needs; a science fiction show called Classified that has not been published; a 2016 TV movie titled HURRY sure‘Fight rap from the 70s; and a television series called Vish Merrick about a veteran “seeking revenge on his murdered family” who “gets dragged into the belly of New York’s black underworld”.
The vast majority of Szuszkiewicz’s television experience comes from shows broadcast on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, the public access nonprofit where The Chris Gethard Show debuts. (MNN did not respond to the comment). In 2011 he started a local show called Real Fans Real Talk, where he interviewed “many celebrities”, including several local rappers and boxers.
“Szuszkiewicz “allegedly stalked a work associate,” Brooklyn Paper reported, “calling him up to 10 times a day, leaving weird messages and writing a ‘masterpiece’ poem in which his colleague saved the world. ““
Two years later he added Not politics as usual, where, seated at a folding table covered with a long blue tablecloth, he interviewed local Republicans on topics such as the Second Amendment and “the subject of gay marriage.” Its last iteration, Final catches, airs Saturdays on Manhattan and Brooklyn channels. These are mostly sports, but anyone who tags the show’s Instagram account can also come as a guest.
Szuszkiewicz has withstood further scandals. In 2008, he won a conviction for aggravated assault and contempt of crime, later overturned by the court after becoming sober and undergoing psychiatric treatment. Szuszkiewicz “would have tracked down a work associate”, Brooklyn Paper reported, “calling her up to 10 times a day, leaving weird messages and writing a ‘masterpiece’ poem that involved her colleague saving the world.”
When his former employer, JP Morgan, fired him over legal issues, Szuszkiewicz filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination against a mental disability. “To submit this question now is political slander – what for?” a campaign spokesperson said of the incident. “This is a disgusting and desperate personal attack made after voters have spoken.”
Szuszkiewicz’s platform does not mention his QAnon beliefs and offers little remedy for this baseless and senseless Trump-centric pedophilia conspiracy – although it makes, Trumpian-style, unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud .
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