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Gatling is first to announce DA bid

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Former Human Rights commissioner Patricia Gatling has announced her bid for district attorney — the first legal eagle to formally do so.

Sources whispered that Gatling was lobbying Gov. Cuomo to appoint her to the seat left vacant after District Attorney Ken Thompson’s death in October. She indicated at the time that she was not interested, but Gatling recently told us she’s all in.

Gatling, who practices law in Manhattan, previously served as the city’s Human Rights commissioner, but the role could haunt her.

Public Advocate Tish James got her sacked from the commission in 2014 after penning a letter to the mayor complaining the office was ineffective under Gatling’s rule, according to an Observer article from the time.

But Gatling says the media got it wrong — James never had issue with her specifically, and she was actually due to leave the agency, she said.

“[James] never even mentioned my name. It had nothing to do with me. I was scheduled to leave in two weeks because that was the deal with the mayor,” said Gatling. “And Tish and I have been friends and continue to be friends. I think it was the timing with the new mayor coming in, people felt like there was animosity.”

James was a rumored hopeful, but a recent Politico article said she’s no longer interested. Her office declined to comment to this paper.

Gatling could face acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Brooklyn Heights lawyer Ann Swern, Bay Ridge attorney Arthur Aidala, judge Shawndya Simpson, and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) in the 2017 election.

Regardless who wins, Gatling said the borough will be in good hands.

“I’m feeling that Brooklyn can’t lose in this race. While I think I’m the most competent of all of them, we don’t know if they are really running or what will happen ultimately,” Gatling said.

• • •

Some voters just can’t wait until the 2017 Council race.

A handful of ballot-casters in the Nov. 8 state legislature election wrote in Justin Brannan, Linda Sarsour, Kevin Peter Carroll, Bob Capano, and John Quaglione — all of whom are rumored to be running next year to replace Gentile, who is term-limited.

Brannan, a former aide to Gentile, got the most votes — 179 people wrote in his name for Assembly (counting various misspellings such as “Justin Brennan” and “Justin Bremman” that we’re assuming were transcription errors).

Sarsour, who heads the Arab American Association, got 18 write-ins (including one for “Linda Sakser” that we counted as a transcription error).

Carroll, a Democratic district leader, and Quaglione, a staffer to state Sen. Martin Golden (R–Bay Ridge), each received one vote.

Someone also wrote in “Robert Compano,” but we’re guessing that was meant for Capano, the only person so far to formally announce his candidacy.

[Editor’s note: These figures may not be exhaustive. We counted votes from assembly districts 41, 46, and 64, as well as state senate districts 19, 20, and 22 — all of which overlap with the 43rd Council District.]

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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