There were two big stories on Thursday about the candidates in the Democratic primary for the 18th State Senate district.
One was a story in Gothamist about Sen. Martin Dilan’s aggressive fundraising in the real-estate sector. “Since 1999, Dilan has accepted $325,400 from real estate entities, more than any senate Democrat besides Jeff Klein, the former Independent Democratic Caucus (IDC) leader known for facilitating Republican control of the upper chamber,” the story read. “In total, 15 percent of Dilan’s campaign donations have come from developers and landlords. That’s nearly twice as much as any other state senator.”
Another was a story, first reported in the Daily Mail but expanded on by The Tablet, about the 2011 Florida arrest of Dilan’s opponent, Julia Salazar, on charges she had fraudulently tried to access the bank account of a woman then married to former Met first baseman Keith Hernandez. The charges were dropped, and Salazar later won a small settlement after suing the woman for defamation; an allegation in the suit was that the woman thought Salazar and the former ballplayer were having an affair. Everyone now denies that was the case.
Guess which story made the New York Times?
Dilan, a nine-term incumbent, appeared to have a real race on his hands back in the early part of the summer, when Salazar received coverage comparing her to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic socialist who’d upset Congressman Joe Crowley. In recent weeks, Salazar has been the focus of stories questioning the veracity of her biography.
Somehow, a race that was a referendum on the incumbent now feels like a referendum on the insurgent.
In the interview below for BRIC-TV’s 112BK, which was taped early Thursday afternoon as those stories broke, Dilan says little about the charges against his client. Instead he responds to questions about his record on tenant issues and his accepting campaign money from landlord interests.
Watch the video or hear the podcast (where our chat begins at 8:45):