For the second time in recent days, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has hired one of former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s staffers. According to Queens sources and confirmed by Mr. de Blasio’s office, the public advocate, and likely candidate for mayor in 2013, hired Lydon Sleeper, as a senior policy adviser. Mr. Sleeper, who was an assistant and district chief of staff for Mr. Weiner, joins Deputy Chief of Staff Avi Fink, another veteran from the ex-congressman’s office.
The scandal-scarred Mr. Weiner has also been mentioned as a possible mayoral candidate in 2013, but unlike Mr. de Blasio, he has been extremely coy about his future ambitions. Despite the damage he suffered in his Twitter sex scandal last year, with $4.8 million dollars in his citywide campaign account, Mr. Weiner could make an impact in any race he chose to run for. However, he seemingly hasn’t managed to make former employees stick around in the event he takes another political plunge in the coming cycle.
Should Mr. Weiner pass on the race, other mayoral contenders could stand to gain. Mr. de Blasio, one of only two non-Manhattan candidates expected to run, surely hopes to fill some of that vacuum. In addition to his work with Mr. Weiner, Mr. Sleeper was Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s chief of staff, while Mr. Fink managed Ms. Crowley’s unsuccessful congressional campaign earlier this year. Both Mr. Weiner’s former district and Ms. Crowley’s current one contain a number of moderate and conservative Democratic voters, so Mr. Sleeper and Mr. Fink’s new jobs might be seen as indicators that Mr. de Blasio intends to make an electoral play for these types of outer-borough communities.