Sal Who?: Brooklyn's Albanese Explains His Mayoral Bid

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Photo by: Todd Brogan

It seems unlikely that any of the growing number of candidates for mayor are afraid of Sal Albanese, the former Democratic City Councilman from Bay Ridge.

Among the Democrats, Council Speaker Christine Quinn has nearly $5 million in campaign funds, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio rallied fearsome union support four years ago to win a tough primary and runoff, Comptroller John Liu was elected in 2009 with unprecedented support from minority groups and Bill Thompson that year lost by 4 points to an incumbent mayor who outspent him 11 to 1.

On the Republican side, supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis could generously self-finance, former Bronx beep and Obama administration official Adolfo Carrion is the only Latino in a city that increasingly looks like him, homeless services leader George McDonald's announcement made The New York Times and newspaper owner Tom Allon ran his first TV commercial a year ago. And has anyone—except maybe Tim Tebow—enjoyed more pre-season hype than ex-MTA boss and current pre-candidate Joseph Lhota?

But none of this seems to faze Albanese as he bites into a sandwich at the Bay Ridge Diner on a Monday in January.

“It's a wide-open seat,” he says. And the sheer number of contestants he's facing suggests that—on that count at least—Albanese is right.

Says contest's contours favor him