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April 7, 2009 / Brooklyn news / Politics / Park Slope / Election Coverage

Hammerman out of Council race

The Brooklyn Paper
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Community Board 6 District Manager — and New York City Hall of Fame inductee — Craig Hammerman has abandoned his second quest to represent Park Slope in the City Council.

The longtime community fixer told The Brooklyn Paper on Tuesday that he was leaving the now–five-man race to succeed Councilman Bill DeBlasio “for personal reasons” one day after locals were buzzing at a Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association meeting about his rumored decision to end the campaign.

“It’s for personal reasons,” Hammerman said. “My family needs me right now.”

He promised to issue a formal statement in the next few days.

Hammerman said his personal affairs would not require him to take a leave from his job at CB6.

“I’ll continue to do my best for the best community board in the city,” he said.

Personal reasons aside, the road to City Hall would not be a smooth one for the popular Hammerman, who had not reported any fundraising, while his main rivals Brad Lander, Josh Skaller and Bob Zuckerman raced to the front of the money race.

Lander has raised $108,000, while Skaller has generated $79,418 worth of monetary enthusiasm and Zuckerman is at $51,250.

Other candidates, Gary Reilly and John Heyer, have also raised tens of thousands of dollars.

And unlike the other candidates, Hammerman had not garnered any of the early endorsements from elected officials and labor unions in the race to represent the Columbia Waterfront District to Park Slope to Kensington.

The decision to quit the race was a sad one for Hammerman, who finished last in the 2001 primary. At that time, he jokingly blamed his loss on the fact that he hired his mother to be his campaign manager.

The current field to replace DeBlasio had already narrowed when former Councilman Steve DiBrienza quit his Grover Cleveland–like quest to return to elected office after The Brooklyn Paper reported that a non-profit group controlled by the former councilman had received close to $1.2 million in taxpayer money since 2002 — the vast majority of it spent on salaries to DiBrienza and other staffers.

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Reader Feedback

Jonathan from Park Slope says:
You mislead your readership when you don't clarify that the five candidates are Democrats running in the primary, the winner of which will indeed be facing David Pechefsky, the Green Party candidate in November. Your unspoken assumption seems to be that there are no other candidates in the race. Remember the adage about assuming...
April 8, 2009, 10:03 pm
buddy 11210 from Heights says:
Hammerman is a fantastic guy - a true believer in communities and a wonderful leader of his Community Board. Courageous leader, actually. It is a loss for the people of his district, and while there are a couple of other good candidates running, notably Skaller and Lander, Brooklyn owes a lot of debt to the fine hand of the Hammerman.
April 12, 2009, 10:31 pm

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