Dem boss takes sides in state Senate primary

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Brooklyn’s Democratic Party Boss is throwing his support behind Bay Ridge Democrats member Andrew Gounardes in his campaign to again unseat longtime state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) over his Democratic primary opponent, Ross Barkan.

“I’ve always supported Andrew, he’s the better of the two candidates,” said Frank Seddio. “He’s a good quality candidate.”

Gounardes lost to Golden in 2012 — and was reportedly pushed to run again by supermarket mogul and former Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis — and is now taking another shot at it after announcing his campaign following a slew of controversies stemming from the sitting pol’s office.

But Seddio, who previously called the primary between Barkan and Gounardes a “waste,” still thinks it’s a misuse of cash, time, and energy in a conservative-leaning district that should instead put all its support behind one blue candidate.

“Unfortunat­ely to have a primary wastes enormous resources, just sad to see. Certainly doesn’t help us,” he said. “It’s a very tough race.”

And Seddio hopes that Golden may not be around for much longer if the True Blue Democrats succeed in corralling all of the turncoats who sat with the Republicans to give them a majority in the Senate — including the now-dissolved Independent Democratic Conference and still-rogue state Sen. Simcha Felder (D–Midwood) — and the chamber’s Democratic secures its first majority since a short stint in 2008, he said.

“If they lost the majority I always believed Golden wouldn’t run,” said Seddio. “I would think that he has to make a decision. If he’s no longer in the majority, it might affect how he thinks of his career. At some point, if you’re on top, and then no longer on the top, you have to think it would definitely be something to consider.”

Felder has not responded to repeated requests for comment about which party he will caucus with in Albany, and even Gov. Cuomo has called him a “question mark,” but Seddio is confident he’ll rejoin the fold.

“I believe that Sen. Felder we be joining the Dems, I believe it’s not a farfetched thing,” said Seddio. “I strongly believe he will when the time comes — he’s an elected Democrat.”

Golden, who was elected in 2003, has $548,893 in his campaign coffers and is not planning to give up his seat anytime soon, said his campaign spokesman.

“Sen. Golden is running for reelection, and looks forward to continuing his public service in the state Senate for years to come,” said his rep Michael Tobman.

Barkan has $53,292 in is war chest, and Gounardes has $104,424, state records show.

• • •

President Donald Trump’s embattled personal attorney has a connection to Mill Basin catering hall El Caribe, according to multiple reports and city records.

Attorney Michael Cohen, whose home, hotel room, and office were raided by the Feds on April 10, is the nephew of Dr. Morton Levine — the owner of the Strickland Avenue venue, a well-known haunt for Russian and Italian mobsters, according to the Times, as well as a popular venue for weddings and parties.

The local councilman was shocked to hear the neighborhood’s connection to the presidential fixer, and said he’d think twice before sitting down for a meal there again.

“If I knew that was the case I’d never go there again,” said Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Mill Basin). “That’s a surprising amount of news.”

But Levine said Cohen gave up his share in the venue after Trump sailed to victory in 2016, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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