One of the consequences of redistricting is that Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez picked up a larger swath of Brownstone Brooklyn and Park Slope, but Park Slope Councilman Brad Lander has her back. He’s raising money for her next Sunday and again the Wednesday the week after, according to invitations he’s sent out to his supporters.
“Nydia is in a tough reelection fight. We need Nydia in Washington fighting for us and she needs our support to win,” Mr. Lander wrote. “So I hope you can join me and other Brooklyn progressives for a brunch to support her reelection campaign.”
George Martinez, a former district leader and current underdog candidate against Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez in this year’s Democratic primary, now has some tunes for his campaign.
Global Block Collective, a hip-hop activist organization Mr. Martinez founded, released a video last week starring the candidate and other artists urging the public to “stand up” for a somewhat ambiguous purpose. The video was apparently shot during the May Day protests earlier this month and includes a number of shots of police and protesters, as well as other settings like the subway.
Dan O’Connor, an economist running in an uphill campaign against Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez in the Democratic primary this year, went on Inside City Hall last evening to give his pitch for why the residents of the district should elect him and his path to victory.
One interesting moment of the interview came when the host, Errol Louis, brought up whether Mr. O’Connor is ideologically libertarian, as he’s been labeled in various places online. Mr. O’Connor responded that while he “commends” Ron Paul for being anti-war and opposing corporations’ influence in politics, “I don’t know if I’d call myself a libertarian.”
However, he has repeatedly used that phrase to describe himself a few months ago, directly saying to the libertarian-oriented Reason magazine, “I want to be the first libertarian on the Democratic side of the House.”
Councilman Erik Dilan, a candidate against Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, isn’t the only one already sending out mailers to Democratic voters in her district. Ms. Velázquez’s latest goes all out in emphasizing President Obama’s health care reform legislation, according to one such ad passed along by a reader.
“Republicans revolted. Some Democrats wavered,” the headline reads. “NYDIA VELÁZQUEZ STOOD STRONG.”
Innovation PAC, a committee dedicated to fighting for small business investment research, seems to have made Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez’s defeat this election cycle their sole goal for the moment, and they’re out with a risqué web ad to prove their point.
“Nydia I’m home early,” a Democratic cartoon donkey declares as he enters his house, only to hear sexual phrases like “That’s right, who’s your daddy” coming from an upstairs room. It turns out that instead of cheating on the husband-donkey, cartoon Ms. Velázquez is taking corporate money from a cartoon Wall Street Bull dressed in a red smoking jacket.
Councilman Erik Dilan, who’s trying to unseat veteran Rep. Nydia Velázquez along with two other challengers, has a natural dilemma of increasing his name recognition in a diverse district spanning three boroughs, and he’s working to change that in recent days. The latest is a piece of mail being delivered throughout the district, according to a reader who passed it along.
Over the past week, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and her main challenger, Councilman Erik Dilan, have both went on Inside City Hall on separate occasions and make the case for why voters of New York’s 7th Congressional District should elect them. Notably, when it came to pointed barbs, they criticized each other’s ability to enact important legislation in Washington D.C.
“Where was my opponent, as chairman of the Housing Committee in the City Council, where was he in terms of securing the city government funding to provide for those housing developments?” Ms. Velázquez asked after touting her own efforts to get federal funding for public housing in her district.
In today’s congressional endorsement news, Hakeem Jeffries, the Brooklyn Assembly running to replace the retiring Ed Towns, announced the backing of a slew of elected officials in a new corner of his reconfigured district, while longtime incumbent Nydia Velazquez got the support of the transit workers union.
Mr. Jeffries has been running hard against Mr. Towns until the incumbent abruptly decided to retire, leaving the race a two-person fight between Mr. Jeffries and City Councilman Charles Barron.
Both candidates have been forced to introduce themselves to the mostly white ethnic voters near Coney Island, an area of the city that was drawn into the district during the redistricting process.
Usually, prominent elected officials tend to form a defensive wall whenever an incumbent is challenged in a primary, but that’s not quite the case in Brooklyn. For example, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries bid to unseat Rep. Ed Towns was met with the support of a variety of politicians in the area. Somewhat similarly, Councilman Erik Dilan, whose candidacy is backed by Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez, appears to have some support among his fellow elected officials as he seeks to unseat Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez.
Among his contributors are a number of close allies of Mr. Lopez, including State Senator Martin Dilan, Assemblyman Rafael Espinal, Councilman Steve Levin, and Councilman Domenic Recchia. Notably, Senate Minority Leader John Sampson also waded into the race and gave Mr. Dilan $1,750 from his personal checkbook.
After increasingly likely signs that he would be challenging veteran Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Councilman Erik Dilan officially moved his campaign forward today, telling The Brooklyn Paper he’s firmly in the race. Michael Olmeda, a political operative close to the campaign, confirmed to The Politicker that Mr. Dilan is indeed running and will have a formal announcement event soon.
Mr. Dilan, a close ally of Brooklyn Democratic Chair Vito Lopez, will undoubtedly have the county establishment’s support in the race. With Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries’ campaign against Congressman Ed Towns, Mr. Lopez is now actively backing two campaigns against sitting Democratic Representatives this election cycle.