Jason Otaño, currently the General Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, will launch his state senate campaign against Martin Dilan next Thursday with the backing of Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Councilwoman Diana Reyna. The move sets up yet another match between the county’s Democratic organization, led by Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and those who oppose his rule.
This reoccurring theme most recently played out when Mr. Dilan’s son Erik challenged Ms. Velázquez, resulting in an election last week where he was soundly beaten. Ms. Velázquez performed well even in Dilan territory, which surely emboldened Mr. Otaño and his supporters. However, defeating an incumbent is never an easy task, and he starts out as the underdog in the race.
Joining the aspiring state senator at his kickoff event are a number of other foes of Mr. Lopez, including District Leader Lincoln Restler — who will have his fate decided on the same September 13th date as Mr. Otaño this year — and two candidates for the City Council in 2013, Jesus Gonzalez and Antonio Reynoso.
Mr. Gonzalez made headlines in 2011 by running against Erik Dilan’s chief of staff Rafael Espinal in a high profile special election for the State Assembly. Mr. Espinal, who ran with the strong support of Mr. Lopez and the Dilan family, ultimately won that election.