an election grows in brooklyn
Assemblyman Rafael Espinal is officially campaigning for the seat belonging to outgoing Councilman Erik Dilan, he told Politicker today. Combined with yesterday’s Council announcement by Assemblyman Micah Kellner and Joe Lhota’s mayoral campaign, indicators are piling up that the 2013 election cycle is fully underway, up an down the ballot.
“I just think it’s a great opportunity to have a direct impact on my communities; in the State Assembly, it’s harder to bring resources into our neighborhoods,” Mr. Espinal said, adding that his experience as Mr. Dilan’s chief of staff will enable him to “hit the ground running.”
In another sign the 2013 races are almost fully underway, Assemblyman Rafael Espinal, who first won a relatively high-profile special election in northeastern Brooklyn in 2011, is moving forward with his aim to replace term-limited Councilman Erik Dilan next year and formed a campaign committee for the effort.
“I’m leaning towards running, but the truth of the matter is I just got elected to the assembly,” Mr. Espinal told us this morning. “But that option’s available. I’m very proud of my record in the record in the State Assembly.”
wfp for you and me
Forget 2012′s elections, the Working Families Party is already taking a look at the 2013 City Council campaigns beginning to heat up. Accordingly, the party announced their first endorsements of council candidates this afternoon, backing Jesus Gonzalez and Costa Constantinides. And while neither endorsement is especially shocking, it’s certainly nice for the respective candidates to have the labor powerhouse’s support for their respective Democratic primaries.
Mr. Gonzalez previously received the Working Families Party’s backing when he ran in a high-profile State Assembly special election last year. In that election, he ran only on the WFP line against the Democratic candidate, Councilman Erik Dilan’s then-Chief of Staff Rafael Espinal. Mr. Gonzalez ultimately lost that election and subsequently decided to seek the seat belonging to Mr. Dilan, who is term limited, rather than seek a rematch with Mr. Espinal.
Jesus Gonzalez will officially launch his campaign for term-limited City Councilman Erik Dilan’s seat next Wednesday, setting the stage for another confrontation between Mr. Gonzalez and the county Democratic organization. Mr. Gonzalez, a young activist for Make the Road New York, gained prominence running under the Working Families Party’s banner against the Democratic Party’s pick in a special election for the State Assembly last summer.
“For many of us the next municipal election still feels like something in the distant future,” Mr. Gonzalez wrote in an email to supporters this afternoon. “For me, it feels just around the corner.”
Jesus Gonzalez, an activist who gained prominence by running in a special election for the State Assembly last summer, looks like he’s getting ready to run for term-limited Councilman Erik Dilan’s seat in 2013. Indeed, he just registered a campaign committee for the run today and at Lincoln Restler’s campaign kickoff event last night, he told The Politicker he was getting “closer to making a decision.”
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez has seen herself on the opposing side of Brooklyn’s Democratic boss, Assemblyman Vito Lopez, quite a few times lately. From what Roberto Perez reported last night, this electoral rivalry looks likely to continue.
First off, Mr. Perez’s sources again float the long-rumored suggestion that one of Mr. Lopez’s key allies, Councilman Erik Dilan, might throw his own hat in the Congressional ring and challenge Ms. Velázquez himself.
very special elections
Bill Samuels, the high-tech entrepreneur who started the reform-minded New Roosevelt Initiative last year to aid insurgent candidates who could shake up Albany, announced this morning that he is endorsing Jesus Gonzalez in the highly-contested Assembly special election in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn.
“A vote for Gonzalez is a vote in favor of change and reform in Brooklyn and beyond,” Samuels said. “If we can mobilize voters on behalf of candidates such as Gonzalez, it will mark an encouraging sign for young reformers throughout this city, who want to take on the entrenched and corrupt political system and change it for the better.”
very special elections
A union source told The Politicker that 32BJ, the powerful property services union, is prepared to endorse Rafael Espinal for the 54th Assembly District.
The endorsement would give Espinal significant Get-Out-The-Vote forces on election day, slated for September 13.
The endorsement is not yet official, and Espinal declined comment.
54th Assembly District
The first round of campaign filings for the 54th Assembly District gives a glimpse into the proxy battle between three of Brooklyn’s power brokers.
Deidra Towns, raised $93,915, the most of any candidate, and also had the most corporate donations with $20,650.
Her father, Congressman Ed Towns, gave $1,000 from his personal account and $3,000 from his reelection fund, and appears to have leaned on some friends in the Congressional Black Caucus.
very special elections
On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Jesus Gonzalez finished a Newport outside his Bushwick office, then ducked to the back with a comb and some gel. He emerged with his close-cropped hair slicked down, and picked up a stack of campaign literature before setting out to knock on some doors.
“It is one of the oldest community organizing tactics,” said Mr. Gonzalez, in an untucked beige polo shirt, an oversized blazer, baggy jeans and shiny patent leather kicks. “Even Jesus’ disciples did it to spread the word.”
Mr. Gonzalez, who goes by the English pronunciation of his first name, Jesus – though some supporters have quietly tried to push the Spanish pronunciation for the campaign – will need some new converts to win the upcoming special election in New York’s 54th Assembly District.