Challenger Eyes Run Against Assemblyman Felix Ortiz

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz. (Photo: NYS Assembly)
Assemblyman Felix Ortiz. (Photo: NYS Assembly)

A local community board member has filed to run against Brooklyn Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, potentially setting up the first primary battle for the longtime lawmaker in more than a decade.

Cesar Zuniga, a member of Brooklyn’s Community Board 7 and research director for the Parent-Child Home Program, said he was considering a bid against Mr. Ortiz and would make a final decision soon. 

“We’re still exploring some things. We’ll definitely have something to say very, very soon,” Mr. Zuniga told Politicker this afternoon. “I am considering a run.”

Mr. Zuniga declined to elaborate on his potential bid. But if he took the plunge, he would be Mr. Ortiz’s first primary challenger since 1996, according to one website’s tally. Mr. Ortiz, a Democrat, was elected to the Sunset Park-based district in 1994. Since then, Mr. Ortiz has risen to become president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.

If he makes his run official, Mr. Zuniga could be joining an anti-incumbent zeitgeist that has seized the area. Last year, Councilman Carlos Menchaca, the first Mexican-American elected official in city history, knocked off an incumbent councilwoman to win a seat in an overlapping district. 

Update (5:00 p.m.): Mr. Ortiz appeared unfazed by the potential challenger. 

“It’s a democracy and everyone has a right to run for office,” Mr. Ortiz said. 

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