All you folks in New York’s 11th Congressional District, take out your crayons and mark your calendars
As a named plaintiff in the action that forced Governor Andrew Cuomo’s hand to declare the Special Election and to select the May date — Diana Sepulveda’s cred for any step-ups in the Brooklyn GOP has gotten a big boost — Perhaps, it even propels her into a bigger Republican Party County-wide position — All as a prelude to the 2015 GOP organizational primary in September
Meanwhile back in the 11th C.D., the Republicans seem in better shape than their Democrat adversaries for this seat — the GOP's Dan Donovan will go up against [somebody - you fill in any name you like, the most likely Democratic candidate] — Democrats say they'll name their candidate next week
According to a report in the NY Times — “Moving to fill offices vacated by a prosecution and a promotion, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced two special elections in New York after being chided by a federal judge for not acting sooner. The elections will be held on May 5, the governor said on Friday....” (See “Cuomo Sets Special Election to Fill Grimm’s Seat” by Jess McKinley, 2/20/15, NY Times
DIANA SEPULVEDA WAS INVOLVED WITH THE LAWSUIT THAT FORCED GOVERNOR CUOMO TO ACTThe part about “... after being chided by a federal judge for not acting sooner...” is a direct reference to the federal lawsuit brought by Ms. Sepulveda and her co-plaintiffs. Just last Tuesday, a federal judge in Brooklyn, Jack B. Weinstein, had ordered Mr. Cuomo to set a date for an election to fill Michael Grimm’s vacated congressional seat for Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, threatening the Governor that the federal court might do so unilaterally if Cuomo continued not to act. Another hearing on the matter had been scheduled for earlier today, but Cuomo announced the election and its date instead, which should obviate the need for further federal court intervention.
This is doubly interesting because Ms. Sepulveda’s name has been repeatedly bandied about on the Eaton side of the fence inside the Brooklyn GOP. Eaton and others have talked about raising Diana’s profile inside the Brooklyn GOP in advance of this years organizational primaries. Something like this successful lawsuit against the sitting Democrat Governor of NY can only add further impetus to the Sepulveda bandwagon.
REPUBLICANS SEEM SET FOR THE CAMPAIGN IN THE SPECIAL — DEMOCRATS NOT SO MUCHIt sure looks like Republicans have already found their candidate to succeed Grimm. Staten Island District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr., who achieved quite some “prominence” last fall for his handling of the Eric Garner case. Garner was an unarmed black man who died after being arrested and while in police custody. Video of the incident showed Garner resisting police and the use of what appeared to be a prohibited choke-hold by one of the officers.
The word is that Democrats are not very optimistic about their chances in New York’s 11th C.D. That party’s candidate in 2014, Domenic M. Recchia Jr., lost badly after a lackluster campaign. As for their candidate for the May 5th Special Election, which is already only about ten (10) weeks away, a bundle of candidates have been mentioned.
Just a few days ago, the New York Observer reported that Staten Island Democrats interviewed three candidates last week: Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile (viewed by many as the front-runner for the nomination), Brooklyn Assemblyman William Colton and Staten Island union activist Robert Holst. However, John Sollazzo, first vice chairman of the Staten Island Democratic Party, put himself into the increasingly unwieldy field of contenders for his party’s nomination to run for Grimm’s seat. Noting that in a special election, the candidates are chosen by the county party bosses, in this case Frank Seddio in Brooklyn and John Gulino on Staten Island; the Observer also noted that Mr. Sollazzo has long been a top member of the Staten Island party. A spokesman for Staten Island Democratic Chairman Gulino declined to comment on the Sollazzo announcement (See “Staten Island Democratic Party Vice Chair Announces Bid for Congress” by Jillian Jorgensen, 2/16/15, NY Observer [http://observer.com/2015/02/staten-island-democratic-party-vice-chair-announces-bid-for-congress/#.VOK3YvgMwr0] [@newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook]).
If that wasn't enough, the Brooklyn Eagle just reported that "... [o]n Feb. 19, a new candidate emerged. Amber Adler, a Brooklyn resident and a former chief of staff of the International Center for Autism Research and Education, announced that she would be seeking the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional District..." (See “Cuomo sets May 5 as date for special election to replace Grimm” by Paula Katinas, 2/19/15, The Brooklyn Eagle [http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2015/2/20/cuomo-sets-may-5-date-special-election-replace-grimm]).