Whether 2013’s city council races will offer Brooklynites a meaningful decision depends on where they live, with some districts set to offer a menu of choices and some very few.
According to filings with the New York State Board of Elections and the city’s Campaign Finance Board, five Brooklyn council districts boast five or more candidates to date. One is the 47th district, encompassing Coney Island, Gravesend, Bensonhurst and Brighton Beach, where term limits will force Domenic Recchia to vacate his seat. So far, Todd Dobrin, Brian Gotlieb, John Lisyanskiy, Michael Treybich and Mark Treyger have hats in the ring. Some have raised a lot more money than others, and some of them may not make the ballot, but for now, they’re in.
Contrast that with the 39th district, where incumbent Brad Lander is the only candidate registered with campaign finance so far, having raised more than $103,000. Or the 44th, where David Greenfield is the only candidate registered with CFB to date, posting $124,000 in contributions. There’s a Republican registered with the state BOE in Greenfield’s district, and both a Republican and a Green candidate in Lander’s, but none of them have reported any activity this year.
Of the 18 Council members affected by term limits, seven are in Brooklyn. Brooklyn’s Letitia James doesn’t have to vacate her seat but is running for public advocate instead.
About $2 million has been raised, and $800,000 spent, by Brooklyn Council candidates so far, leaving $1.2 million or so in candidates’ coffers. So far, the 47th district race has brought in the most money, some $274,000. Incumbent Vincent Gentile is the top fundraiser to date, with $140,000 hauled in. Antonio Reynoso, one of the candidates running to replace Diana Reyna in her Williamsbridge/Bushwick district (that’s the seat Vito Lopez is vying for), has the most cash on hand: $85,000.
There are 16 council districts in Brooklyn. In 2009, seven incumbent Brooklyn councilmembers faced primaries; only Kendall Stewart lost. In the general election, three Brooklyn Councilmembers—Mathieu Eugene, Michael Nelson and Domenic Recchia—faced no major-party opposition but did have third-party opponents, whom they bested.
One, Simcha Felder, faced only himself; he was cross-endorsed by the Democrats, Republicans and Conservatives.