Martha Flores-Vazquez knows what it’s like to lose an election or two–and now she wants to help others who have gone through the same dreaded experience.
Ms. Flores-Vazquez, a Democratic district leader in Queens who has recently lost races for both the City Council and the State Assembly, is trying to help others cope with the sting of defeat, hosting a series of free one-on-one therapy sessions for wannabe pols who fell short on Election Day.
Movin' On Up On The East Side
In the wake of an unsuccessful–and controversial–City Council campaign, Assemblyman Micah Kellner could be facing brewing opposition for re-election in his own district next year.
Though he was reportedly expected to plead guilty to federal corruption charges today, Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. instead pleaded not guilty, setting up a trial date for December or possibly January.
Barron for Barron
Councilman Charles Barron can be described in many ways, but demure and dispassionate typically aren’t on the list.
The bombastic councilman, for instance, launched his unsuccessful bid for Congress last year by declaring, “I don’t care what they say, I’m still not saluting the flag!” In the halls of Washington, Mr. Barron vowed he’d continue to “stand up for Robert Mugabe, who’s an African hero–taking land back from white people who stole the land from us in the first place!”
Now, after 12 years as a constant presence at press conferences and rallies, the term-limited eastern Brooklyn councilman will be forced out of office. But he hopes his wife, Inez Barron, an assemblywoman with identical ideological stripes, can cement the Barron legacy.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a relatively modest-sized but politically aggressive union, has announced more endorsements for the 2013 election cycle.
The support, which spans City Council races across the five boroughs, was given to a mixture of incumbents and open-seat contenders, and includes candidates who have amassed large labor coalitions like Austin Shafran in Queens and less establishment-oriented hopefuls like John Mancuso in Staten Island. All are Democrats.
Stand By Me
Assemblyman Dan Quart re-affirmed his support for City Council candidate Micah Kellner this afternoon, in the wake of allegations that Mr. Kellner had sexually harassed female staffers working in his Assembly office.
Mr. Quart reached out to Politicker to double-down on his support for his colleague’s candidacy as other lawmakers, including City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, State Senators José Serrano and Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, abandon the campaign.
Assemblyman Micah Kellner’s campaign for Councilwoman Jessica Lappin’s Upper East Side seat just lost a few more supporters.
Joining Ms. Lappin, State Senators José Serrano and Brad Hoylman withdrew their support of Mr. Kellner following revelations that he had sexually harassed a former staffer.
“The news surrounding Assemblymember Micah Kellner is indeed troubling. In light of this news, I along with my colleague, Senator Brad Hoylman, will be rescinding our endorsements of Micah for the City Council seat he’s seeking,” Mr. Serrano said in an email to Politicker.
The controversy never seems to end in New York City politics.
Upper East Side Assemblyman Micah Kellner–one of the few Assembly Democrats to criticize Speaker Shelly Silver’s handling of the Vito Lopez scandal–is now facing sexual harassment allegations of his own.
The City Council candidate was allegedly the subject of a sexual harassment complaint made by a female staffer four years ago. But, according to the New York Times, the complaint was never referred to the Assembly’s ethics committee, prompting the dismissal of a top Assembly lawyer, Bill Collins.
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick is dismissing as “fiction” a report alleging she is leading a coup of female lawmakers to depose Shelly Silver as Assembly speaker.
The New York Post’s Fred Dicker reported this morning that Mr. Silver is facing a “serious leadership threat’’ from 30 Democratic Assemblywomen fed up after being forced to defend him in the wake of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal.
The Battle for Bushwick
While two scandal-scarred pols hog the media spotlight, another fallen candidate is laying the groundwork for a return to power.
Vito Lopez, the former Democratic boss forced to resign his Assembly seat in disgrace, raised almost $20,000 during the latest filing period and has filed the necessary signatures to make it on the ballot. And–observers say–he just might win.
“Vito is a highly formidable candidate,” an ally of Mr. Lopez’s opponent, Antonio Reynoso, told Politicker today. “He is the favorite in this race.”