District Leader Mark Levine filed for term-limited Councilman Robert Jackson’s seat this afternoon, further setting the stage for what could be one of the most hotly contested City Council races in 2013.
Mr. Levine had previously told The Politicker he was “definitely” entering the race unless there’s an opening in the State Senate district created by Adriano Espaillat running for the House of Representatives. This new committee will allow him to fundraise and campaign more directly for the position.
Mr. Levine made headlines in 2010 by running for now-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s State Senate seat, losing to Mr. Espaillat, who was an Assemblyman at the time. Mr. Levine, who speaks Spanish, scored a respectable 39% of the vote in the heavily Latino district.
An incredibly crowded field is already shaping up to replace Mr. Jackson. These include District Leader Maria Luna, who’s also an Uptown power broker, Socrates Solano, an aide to Congressman Charlie Rangel, Cheryl Pahaham, the departing vice chair of Community Board 12, Rakim Brooks, the communications director for Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, and community activist Julius Tajiddin.
Update: The Politicker reached Mr. Levine, who reiterated his possible interest in running for the State Senate again in 2012 should Mr. Espaillat run for Congress. That said, Mr. Levine indicated the City Council would provide him an additional platform to improve his community.
“I want to begin towards a possible 2013 City Council race, which is really just a continuation of the work that I’ve been doing in the community for a good decade and a half, focusing on scoools, transit, affordable housing and much more.”
“It’s good for democracy to have a lot of contenders,” Mr. Levine said of the crowded field. ”I feel really good about where I stand and the base I have in the district, and my record working on behalf of progressive issues.”