It’s 8 a.m. at the Sheepshead Bay Road subway stop in Brooklyn, and most of the commuters rushing to catch the D local get only a brief glimpse of the thin, young man handing out fliers from a Nobody Beats the Wiz shopping bag.
“Good morning, ladies and gentleman,” says Anthony David Weiner, candidate for Congress, identified to the voters with a large placard borne by a young girl in a long skirt. “Welcome to the newly renovated Sheepshead Bay Road Station — newly renovated, thanks to your City Councilman.”
Last May, Evan Davis angrily withdrew his name from the roster seeking delegates’ votes at the state Democratic nominating conference. Davis, who is seeking his party’s nomination for state attorney general, complained that money was poisoning the process and accused one of his rivals, Eliot Spitzer, of using personal funds to win the support of the county leaders who control many of the delegates’ votes.
James Larocca, unknown and underfunded, is a prohibitive underdog in the Democratic primary for governor. “We’re broke and proud of it,” he boasts. Larocca recently completed a petition drive to get on the ballot after failing to gather enough support at the statewide nominating convention for an automatic spot.
Catherine Abate, one of four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for state attorney general, has a varied 25-year record in administrative positions, including city probation commissioner, chair of the state Crime Victims Board, deputy commissioner of the state Division of Human Rights and city corrections commissioner. She was elected to the state Senate in 1994, representing parts of central and lower Manhattan.
As a public-interest lawyer, consumer affairs commissioner and public advocate of New York, Mark Green has a track record of working on Jewish issues, from advocacy of German reparations for East bloc Holocaust survivors abroad to kosher-food price protection in New York.
In his second bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, Green is advocating for Jonathan Pollard, the former naval intelligence analyst convicted of spying for Israel.
The acquittal of Dov Hikind on fraud and corruption charges this week all but guarantees that he will remain a fixture in the Assembly for as long as he chooses. But the true test of his political future will come in the next few months as local and statewide races heat up.
Throngs of raucous supporters gathered around Hikind during a triumphant press conference Tuesday, the day after a jury cleared him of any wrongdoing, as the veteran Brooklyn lawmaker announced that he is running unopposed for re-election.
In his years as a prosecutor, Charles J. Hynes has racked up convictions against organized crime families, corrupt police officers, fraudulent nursing home operators and, in his most celebrated case, a gang of youths charged with the 1987 Howard Beach racial murder. He was elected district attorney of Brooklyn in 1989.
Peter Vallone has become one of the most visible politicians in New York in recent weeks as he locks horns with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani over the city budget and presses his campaign to unseat Gov. George Pataki.
Although he faces an uphill battle against a popular incumbent Republican at a time of economic prosperity, the Democrat from Astoria, Queens, insists important issues are being overlooked.
The City Council’s Jewish Study Group, founded in response to a rash of Jewish concerns in the early ‘90’s, will take on a higher profile in coming months, says its founding chairman, Councilman Herbert Berman (D-Brooklyn).
“We are planning a whole series of meetings to reinvigorate” the group, which has been virtually inactive since shortly after its inception, said Berman. “It’s important that members be educated as to the problems facing the Jewish people in city, state, federal [issues] and Europe and Israel.”
The only Jewish woman running for statewide office this year insists she has a lock on the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. “I believe I am well-positioned [to] win the primary,” says Sandra Frankel, supervisor of the town of Brighton, N.Y.
She may be right. Being the only Jew and the only woman on the ticket may have its advantages in a year in which a high turnout among Jewish women is expected. “The response of the Jewish community has been very positive,” she says of those she met while campaigning.