Some fresh faces are taking on Brooklyn Democratic party boss Vito Lopez.
The “New Kings Democrats” (a take off Kings County, a.k.a Brooklyn) describe themselves as grassroots candidates who want “to create a more progressive Democratic Party that is actively organizing and fighting for our neighborhoods.” Meaning that they don’t believe Lopez is grassroots or progressive.
New Kings Lincoln Restler and Kate Zidar are running for district leader in the 50th Assembly District, which covers Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, and Downtown Brooklyn.
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, who represents neighborhoods within the district, is backing them. She is also endorsing Esteban Duran, who is challenging Lopez for his district leader seat in the 53rd Assembly District. “Esteban is a product of our community and a born leader,” Velázquez said in a statement. ” I commend his tenacity, his integrity, and his efforts to revitalize our local politics.”
It is no secret that Velázquez and Lopez are foes. They have been on opposite sides of large development projects in Williamsburg. Lopez tried to push out his former chief of staff, City Councilwoman Diana Reyna, whose re-election bid Velázquez pushed in last year.
A district leader is a local political party representative. An unpaid elected post, it’s used to pave a path to higher office. Each district has slots for both a male and female leader.
These races rarely make front pages. But that rising, young leaders are organizing and have the muscle of the congresswoman says a lot about the willingness to tumble some crowns in Brooklyn.
P.S. Speaking of politicians who dislike each other, former NYC mayoral candidate and Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer yesterday endorsed Gustavo Rivera for NY State Senate. Rivera is challenging the ever controversial senator Pedro Espada Jr. in the Bronx.