2012-04-20 / Top Stories

Scala To Challenge Meeks For Democratic Nod

By Howard Schwach

Mike Scala will challenge Congressman Gregory Meeks for Congress. Mike Scala will challenge Congressman Gregory Meeks for Congress. While no Republicans have come forward to challenge the incumbent Congressman Gregory Meeks in the upcoming Congressional elections, a mainland Democrat has stepped up to challenge the beleaguered politician in the upcoming Democratic primary.

On Monday, Mike Scala reportedly submitted thousands of signatures to get on the ballot for the June 26, 2012 Democratic Primary.

“New York’s Congressional District 5, formerly NY-6, has not had a choice in candidates since the incumbent took office in 1998,” a spokesperson for Scala said.

In a recent comment on the importance of the primary process, Scala told reporters, “A primary also keeps candidates honest. Most obviously prefer to forego the primary process because it’s one less election they have to win. More than that, though, no primary means they get to ride the party wave with no personal accountability. Many districts are not swing districts. People have their ideologies, and come Election Day they’re going to vote along party lines. A primary forces the candidates to take a stand. It’s easy to regurgitate party talking points, but multiple candidates vying for the same party’s nomination compels nuanced discussion. It makes incumbents de- fend their records and challengers explain what they’d do differently than others in their party.”

Under the reapportionment that was completed last month, the 5th District of New York now contains parts of Nassau County, all of the Rockaway peninsula, in addition to large portions of mainland southeast Queens.

Scala was born and raised in Rosedale. He graduated cum laude from what is now the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and is currently in his final year of study at Brooklyn Law School.

He has worked for the legal department of New York State United Teachers, where he helped defend educators facing discrimination. He also spent time at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, which advocates for improving end of life care and is the largest nonprofit membership organization of its kind in the United States.

During the 2008 presidential election, Scala worked with the Obama campaign to help college students vote early via in-person absentee ballot.

He is, in addition, a Hip Hop artist who has released music through Rawkus Records.

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