Rumors are abuzz in Brooklyn Democratic circles about whether and when Assemblyman Vito Lopez will leave his chairmanship of the Kings County Democratic Party in light of Friday’s sexual harassment scandal.
And, Frank Seddio, a district leader, attorney and former assemblyman from southeastern Brooklyn, has been making calls seeking to shore up support in the likely event that Mr. Lopez steps down in the next day or so, according to sources familiar with the situation. Mr. Seddio, the head of the influential Thomas Jefferson Club, is one of the leading contenders to replace Mr. Lopez.
If true, this would confirm what other reporters have been hearing as well.
Mr. Lopez released a statement yesterday evening, digging in and declaring his innocence, but only going so far as to state his intentions to remain in the State Assembly, not the county’s political organization. Mr. Lopez, unopposed in this year’s Democratic primary, would not face difficulty winning reelection and serving another term in Albany, assuming no additional developments emerge.
With the fallout from the sexual harassment allegations, however, it seems unlikely Mr. Lopez has enough support among his former allies to hold onto his chairmanship. A majority of district leaders can remove Mr. Lopez from power.
Other possibilities for replacing Mr. Lopez include district leaders Lew Fidler, Annette Robinson, Joe Bova, and Walter Mosley. Mr. Fidler, who also serves as a City Councilman, would have to leave that post in order to lead the county’s Democratic organization. Mr. Seddio, currently campaigning or Mr. Fidler’s seat, would have to abandon that plan if he wanted to serve for the extended future.