2007-02-23 / Editorial/Opinion

A Fresh, New Candidate For City Council

It seems clear now that the Democratic City Councilman who represents Rockaway will be leaving us in 2008 to run for the State Senate seat now held by Republican Senator Serph Maltese. The Democratic imperative is to retake the senate from the Republicans, and both Mayor Mike Bloomberg (who has his own dislike of Maltese because of the school funding issue) and Governor Eliot Spitzer (who wants to wrest control from the other party) will help fund and manage Addabbo's campaign. Addabbo recently told some other newspapers, "the time was not right for my candidacy [against Maltese] in the last election," adding that he would most likely challenge Maltese in the 2008 election. Should Addabbo run for the Maltese seat, he would no long represent Rockaway in any way. That sets up lots of interesting scenarios in the election for Rockaway's new City Council representative. While it is still way too early for anybody to come out and announce their candidacy for the City Council slot, we can posit some probabilities. Democratic District Leader Lew Simon seems to be a sure candidate, although his losses in the past few elections and his past indiscretions might make him think twice about running again and putting himself through another tough campaign with the attendant publicity that candidates draw. We have heard for some years now that Democratic District Leader Geraldine Chapey has been positioning herself for a run for whatever office came up first. Chapey has lots of credibility with seniors through her Trinity organization and with church-goers. Those two would seem to be the frontrunners, but we would argue that somebody outside the hidebound Democratic organization be found. In our minds, both of them are too tied to the problematic Democratic organization led for so long by Tom Manton and Sheldon Silver. We need new blood, somebody fresh with no ties to the organization, somebody who will watch out for the needs of the constituency rather than the needs of the party. It's time for a change.

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