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Queens Chronicle

New leader at NAACP branch for Jamaica

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Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 6:46 pm

The national headquarters of the NAACP apparently has ruled that Candace Prince-Modeste is the official winner of the November election for president of the organization’s Jamaica Branch, unseating Leroy Gadsden, who had been president for a decade.

“You are hereby directed to cease and desist from acting or holding yourself out as President of the NAACP Jamaica Branch,” national President and CEO Derrick Johnson wrote to Gadsden in a letter dated Jan. 17 that was obtained from the branch’s Facebook page.

The letter states that Gadsden did not have the prerequisite number of signatures — a minimum of 25 — needed to challenge the results of the election, held on Nov. 19.

“Your election concerns are therefore dismissed,” Johnson’s letter said.

At the bottom of the letter, the five people listed under Cc: include Hazel Dukes, president of the New York State Conference and "Candace Prince-Modeste, President, Jamaica Branch."

Prince-Modeste, in a brief telephone conversation, said she would be discussing further details in the coming days.

She is listed as the pesident on the chapter’s official web page.

Gadsden, reached by phone Friday, said he was not yet in receipt of the letter and that he still considers himself to be president of the Jamaica branch.

The dispute became known to the general public late Thursday evening after Gadsden planned and held a press conference outside the Susan B. Anthony Middle School in Hollis, where Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza was speaking at a town hall meeting for parents.

The press conference took place before a chapter banner, and an accompanying press release was on chapter letterhead with Gadsden signing as president of the Jamaica branch.

Prince-Modeste in a tweet on Thursday evening said “there is no NAACP-sanctioned press conference taking place this evening.”

Calls to the NAACP’s national headquarters in Baltimore on Friday afternoon were not answered.

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