Bill de Blasio
Potentially big and breaking news, a first...
The Staten Island Advance, the only paper that wants to cover this election, reports that City Councilman Bill de Blasio [City Council Page] of Brooklyn may be considering jumping into the race.
Democratic City Councilman Bill de Blasio has been approached by a "number of people" about the race, said Howard Wolfson, a top Democratic strategist who advises Mrs. Clinton (D-N.Y.) and the state party.
"He is taking a look at it," Wolfson said. "He's very much in the examination phase."
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which bankrolls House races, yesterday said it would embrace de Blasio's candidacy.
Stephen Harrison, the previously crowned runner-up to Fossella in 2006, is less than happy with this news. More interesting is the reaction of Lavelle, the Democratic leader who failed to find a viable candidate for this race. Throwing around insider DC negativity towards the DCCC's potential involvement, Lavelle levies Fossella's attack for him, saying de Blasio is not a vetted candidate. De Blasio almost won the City Council Presidency, losing out to Christine Quinn, who essentially is the number two person in city government, behind the mayor. With his strong Brooklyn machine ties, political resume and name recognition, should he jump into the race it might appear to be a no contest against Harrison who is still trying to figure out how to set up a website, or so it would appear. More on the 'unvetted' de Blasio;
De Blasio was campaign manager of Mrs. Clinton's 2000 U.S. Senate run, and ran the Clinton-Gore state re-election effort in 1996.
"He can tap into some of the Clinton money," said one Island political insider.
De Blasio won his seat in 2005 with 83.4% of the vote. While De Blasio's district does not entirely fall within NY13 I am inclined to support, even if it is just a wild rumor, the candidacy of someone who can excite the DCCC, with experience working with people with the last name of Clinton, who potentially has the backing of the Brooklyn Democratic establishment as well as the ability to bring in financial backing. I don't want to come off as writing off Harrison and Lavelle for their efforts thus far, but what they have brought to the party and constituents in this race is so far unknown to me. Both Harrison and de Blasio would be running for this seat from the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Bridge, similar home turf of 2004 candidate Barbaro. With De Blasio in the race we are looking at building off of Barbaro's efforts in 2004. Without him, it would appear 2006 will just be a fundraising year for Fossella and his 2008 re-election hopes.