Politico Bob Capano has a veritable who’s-who of city Republicans backing his bid for outgoing Councilman Vincent Gentile’s soon-to-be-open Bay Ridge seat.
Former Kings County Republican Party chairman Craig Eaton, one-time Rep. Bob Turner (R–Queens), former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa are all lining up behind the only Republican to announce his intentions to run for the seat.
Eaton’s star may be setting — his handpicked successor has been fighting a court battle against Bay Ridge lawyer Ted Ghorra for the better part of a year over who gets to be the party’s next head honcho.But his credentials are rock-solid, according to Capano, who called Ghorra a Johnny-come-lately to borough conservatism.
“[Eaton is] a friend and a very respected Republican leader and community leader for many years,” said Capano (inset). “I was president of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, worked in senior positions for two Brooklyn Republican members of congress, and was the Republican and Conservative candidate for the 43rd City Council district in 2009 — and never heard of Ted Ghorra.”
Eaton gave Capano a ringing endorsement.
“I have a long-standing relationship with Bob Capano, and he’s the only announced candidate right now, and I think he’d be good for the job,” Eaton said. “He’s been involved in politics and community stuff for a long time.”
Other rumored candidates include Liam McCabe, a neighborhood activist and staffer to Rep. Dan Donovan (R–Bay Ridge), and John Quaglione, spokesman for state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge).
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And Quaglione plans to announce whether he’ll officially make a run for Council after the Nov. 8 election, he said.
“I’m still reviewing my options and will be announcing my decision after the presidential election,” he said.
But the Bay Ridge stalwart is already criticizing Capano — a Staten Islander who works in Manhattan — for carpetbagging.
“And, from the other side of the Verrazano, he’s tweeting he wants to run for office in Brooklyn. He doesn’t live in the district,” Quaglione said.
Quaglione also took a swipe at Capano’s backers, who hail from outside Kings County, and pledged a more local grass-roots backing should he run.
“Is Bob running for mayor or City Council for southwest Brooklyn? He’s assembled a team of folks that are representative of the city rather than the district,” said Quaglione (inset). “If I announce, I’ll have a slew of co-chairs and committee members that are actually in the district.”
Capano countered that having allies in Queens will help him build coalitions and suggested that Quaglione’s views are too parochial.
“It is understandable that John wants to deflect from the fact that he has literally worked for one elected official his entire professional life, and has always been on the taxpayers’ dime,” Capano said.
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The women reportedly vying to be district attorney hit a roadblock when Gov. Cuomo decided not to appoint a new prosecutor and to instead let the late Ken Thompson’s chosen successor Eric Gonzalez ride out the rest of the term.
But one of the three is already mulling a run when the seat goes up for reelection in 2017.
Former prosecutor Anne Swern confirmed she is still eyeing the seat, she confirmed to this paper.
“I’m seriously considering running,” Swern said. “But of course right now we are still mourning the sudden and untimely death of Ken Thompson.”
Public Advocate Tish James and former Commissioner on Human Rights Patricia Gatling were also rumored to be vying for an appointment.
Reached by phone, Gatling would not say whether she was interested in running in 2017 but did say she now lives in Manhattan. James did not return a request for comment.