At a pro-Israel rally earlier today, Brooklyn District Leader Ari Kagan told Politicker that he will file to run for City Council within the next few days, entering what is likely to be a hotly-contested battle for term-limited Councilman Michael Nelson’s seat.
And, Mr. Kagan said, he has friends in high places already lined up to support his candidacy, including Frank Seddio, the chairman of the Kings County Democratic Party.
“I’m very happy to have the support of so many of my friends like Hakeem Jeffries, you know like Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, he calls me ‘bro,'” Mr. Kagan added, ticking off a list of political allies. “We ran together and we’re close, close, close friends and I believe he is a rising star in Brooklyn politics. … I’m very close to Senator Diane Savino, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, Councilman David Greenfield and Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny.”
Mr. Kagan, who ran and lost a narrow race against Mr. Brook-Krasny in 2006, said that the greatest focus of this campaign will be recovery from Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the southern half of the district. A graduate of Baruch College’s business program, he was quick to say that business is not the only part of his background people should know about.
“I’m a journalist, I have a journalism degree from the Soviet Union too,” he pointed out.
Mr. Kagan further claimed he’ll be able to unite the Orthodox Jewish and Russian communities of the district, which have clashed at times during the ongoing redistricting process.
Those two communities also tend to be some of the more conservative segments in the overwhelmingly Democratic city, and as a result, Mr. Nelson’s seat is among the few that both parties will likely be targeting this year. Accordingly, former State Senator David Storobin, a Republican, has indicated his own interest in the seat.