What does Marty want?
Brooklynites are asking that question now that Borough President Markowitz — who has long said he wants to be mayor — has told the city’s Campaign Finance Board that he will be a candidate in 2009.
But a candidate for what office — well, that’s anyone’s guess.
When 25 politicians filed the appropriate paperwork last week, Markowitz was among 17 listed as “undeclared.”
This week, the Beep uncharacteristically turned into the Great Sphinx of Borough Hall, refusing to answer questions about what higher office he’s aiming to fill.
“Que sera sera — whatever will be will be,” he said in a cryptic statement issued through his office. “And whatever my future holds, Brooklyn will always be first among equals.”
Markowitz’s second term as borough president ends in 2010. The mayor’s office will need a new occupant then, too. Just a coincidence? Few think so.
“I’m sure he wants to be mayor,” said one Democratic insider who likes Markowitz. “He thinks he’d be a good one and he has great fundraising ability because of his support of the [Bruce] Ratner [Atlantic Yards] project and other developers.”
But whether he could get the city’s top job — which will attract a field that could include Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Sheepshead Bay), Comptroller Bill Thompson, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn — is, as they say in Brooklyn, a whole ’nother question.
“He’ll probably have to settle for public advocate as a consolation prize,” the insider said. “He’d do a good job at it. He could also run, drop out and back the eventual winner to get himself a high-profile commissioner’s job in the next administration.”
Markowitz’s profile is already pretty high. Not only is he far and away the borough president with the best name-recognition (quick, name the Queens beep — too slow, it’s Helen Marshall), but he recently taped a segment for the white-hot fake-news program, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
The finance board filing does not automatically mean that Markowitz is running for anything. By law, all potential candidates are required to disclose all campaign activity. Active campaign committees of politicians like Markowitz sometimes receive contributions whether the candidate is on the hustings or not.
If he’s running, he’d better pick up his pace. Of the five “undeclared” filers who are likely to run for mayor — Carrion, Betsy Gotbaum, Thompson, and Quinn — Markowitz has raised the least amount of money, just $83,000, or roughly $440,000 less than Thompson.
People closely reading the campaign finance filing will also notice the name of Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Ken Adams on the “undeclared” list. Adams told The Brooklyn Papers that he’ll run in the special election to fill City Councilman David Yassky’s seat if Yassky is elected to Congress in November.
Democratic district leader Jo Anne Simon has also filed for the same race.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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