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.
Is Brooklyn Councilman Erik Dilan’s potential primary challenge against Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez starting to take off the ground?
From the latest fundraising invitation from Michael Olmeda, a political consultant who worked as the campaign manager for Councilman Erik Dilan’s Chief of Staff Rafael Espinal’s in an Assembly special election last summer, it sure looks like it.
“I am once again reaching out to you to help support another of our young and progressive candidates for election,” Mr. Olmeda wrote in an email to potential donors this evening, forwarded to The Politicker by a friendly reader.
Earlier today, Liz Benjamin reported Councilman Erik Dilan is raising money for a federal office, suggesting his rumored campaign against Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez should be taken much more seriously. A Democratic source also told Chris Bragg that Mr. Dilan was close to making a decision.
But could Mr. Dilan win?
Ms. Velázquez, who’s a long-time political opponent of Brooklyn’s Democratic leader, Assemblyman Vito Lopez, would surely see the county’s Democratic organization support Mr. Dilan’s primary challenge should he pull the trigger. Having establishment support for a low-turnout primary battle would be a powerful tool for Mr. Dilan to have in his back pocket.
On the other hand, Ms. Velázquez is a pillar in parts of New York City’s Puerto Rican community and taking out a veteran incumbent is never an easy task.
A Democratic operative supporting Mr. Dilan told The Politicker he believes there could be a viable path to victory in this diverse district.