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Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

Bichotte Hermelyn is in firm control of the Brooklyn Democratic machine, helping to stifle progressives at every turn, just how Eric Adams likes it. 


  • Math Teacher
  • Engineer
  • Investment Banker


  • Assemblymember, Brooklyn’s 42nd District 
  • Chair of the Kings County Democratic Party

With the victory of Eric Adams, the conservative wing of the Brooklyn Democratic Party swept into power in City Hall in a way that it hadn’t quite done under Park Slope’s more Working Families Party-aligned Bill de Blasio. Kings County Democratic Party chair and Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, who like Adams rose through the ranks of the county party, was one of Adams’s staunchest campaign supporters, and likewise, he had supported her tenure at the top of the party

With Adams (and Frank Carone, the party’s long-time lawyer and the mayor’s chief of staff) in City Hall, Bichotte Hermelyn gained easy access to the levers of power. Her husband, Edu Hermelyn, a district leader in Brooklyn (who notably wasn’t elected to that position, as is typical, but was appointed to fill a vacant seat by the party’s executive committee while he and Bichotte Hermelyn were dating), also benefited from Adams’s win. In February 2022, Edu Hermelyn was appointed as the senior adviser for strategic initiatives at the Department of Social Services, a role that came with an annual salary of $190,000. That was after Hermelyn had made $80,000 working for Adams’s campaign, a stint during which multiple sources with knowledge of Adams’ campaign staff told the New York Post that Hermelyn did little work

The CITY asked City Hall whether Hermelyn’s appointment broke City rules regarding holding senior government positions and political party posts at the same time. Later that day, Hermelyn resigned from City government just a month after his appointment. (Hermelyn did not resign his district leader seat but went on to lose it in an election three months later.)

Both Bichotte Hermelyn and Adams are known to get into petty scraps with other lawmakers in their own party. When Bichotte Hermelyn took over the Brooklyn Democratic Party in 2020, becoming the first woman to run one of New York City’s county parties and only its second Black chairperson (she is the child of Haitian immigrants), Bichotte Hermelyn was immediately tasked with heading off a progressive insurgency that aimed to topple the party’s patronage machine. Younger and more leftist members saw the party as antiquated, corrupt, and financially broke, and wanted to democratize its governance, but Bichotte Heremelyn successfully fought calls for her to resign. (A party spokesperson referred to efforts to reform the party as “nothing but a power grab by limousine liberals, propagandizing as a movement for underserved Brooklynites.”

But perhaps reformers had a point—even as Bichotte Hermelyn represented a new face for the Brooklyn Democratic Party, she went along with classic party machine games. The reform wing has accused others in the party of forging ballot signatures and running people for important county seats without their knowledge. Last August, a handful of party leaders (not including Bichotte Hermelyn) changed party rules during chaotic votes, in a move widely seen as an attempt to cut down on possible dissent.   

Bichotte Hermelyn did not respond to a request for comment.

With Adams in office, the Brooklyn Democratic Party under Bichotte Hermelyn has acted to carry out his priorities of stifling the party’s progressive wing, with Bichotte Hermelyn even going so far as to work against an incumbent Democratic councilmember facing a Republican challenger. 

And now, with Adams facing a federal investigation into his campaign, Bichotte Hermelyn is ready to leap to his defense. 

“I’m concerned about whether these investigations are just targeting him because he’s a Black mayor,” she told the New York Times. “You have people who try to take people down who are really trying to help the city.” Bichotte Hermelyn has also defended his campaign’s top fundraiser Brianna Suggs, the target of the FBI raid into his campaign, who also just happened to volunteer for the Brooklyn Democratic Party

“What I know of Brianna Suggs, she’s a bright young lady. I think she’s a very honest person, organized. She’s very mild-mannered, a very professional person,” Bichotte Hermelyn told the New York Times, adding, “She knows the rules.”

Last updated: 12/18/2023


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