Strategist Hank Sheinkopf Says Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge) Is Unlikely to Become Council Speaker

Spoken for! Dem insider dismisses Ridge Councilman’s leadership bid

Speaking up: Councilman Vincent Gentile has suggested that he will ascend to the position of Speaker if re-elected — but his former campaign chairman calls the claim unlikely.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Bay Ridge’s incumbent councilman says he could be the next City Council Speaker — but a leading political strategist argues the veteran pol is speaking out of turn.

Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) has been telling voters and the press that he is a top contender to head up the City Council next year, since he will be the longest-sitting representative if re-elected in November — and he claims the promotion will let him bring home more dough for his constituents.

“With my seniority, I will have the opportunity to be in leadership and the leadership circles,” the two-term councilman told the crowd at his campaign kick-off in March. “It will give me even greater ability to bring back even greater resources.”

But Democratic Party insiders say that Gentile’s outspoken aspirations to the speakership are just a play for more votes on Election Day.

“Is it likely that Vinnie Gentile will be the speaker? Probably not. Is it good campaign strategy to tell your constituents you’re going to be in leadership and have more juice to bring home more money for your community? The answer is yes,” said Dem strategist Hank Sheinkopf, who managed Gentile’s successful first campaign for Council in 2003.

Councilmembers elect the Speaker, and Sheinkopf argued that Councilmembers from Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx would not back a leader from Brooklyn because the probable next mayor and public advocate — Bill DeBlasio of Park Slope and Tish James of Fort Greene, respectively — both hail of the County of Kings.

“Borough rivalry still plays a large part in these things,” said Sheinkopf, who added he could not predict who the Speaker actually would be.

And even though Brooklyn has the largest delegation to the Council of any borough, its representatives are politically split between Southern Brooklyn pols like Gentile, who are loyal to Kings County Democratic boss Frank Seddio, and more liberal councilmen like Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) and Steve Levin (D–Greenpoint), who belong to the legislative body’s Progressive Caucus.

Gentile served six years in the State Senate, from 1997 to 2003, before losing his Senate seat to then-Councilman Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge). He has headed the Council’s Select Committee on Libraries — of which he is the only member — since 2006. When the council voted in 2010 to appoint new chairs, Gentile and Councilman Charles Barron (D–East New York) were the only long-standing members not given a full committee chairmanship.

Gentile faces a challenge on Nov. 5 from Golden aide John Quaglione.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John from Bay Ridge says:
Vinny's telling voters that he'll be the next Speaker of the Council? That's a whopper of a lie. He's desperate.
Oct. 28, 2013, 9:51 am
jerry from Dyker says:
"Vinny's telling voters that he'll be the next Speaker of the Council?"

That's not what the story says.
Oct. 28, 2013, 10:23 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
It's never gonna happen...the next city council president will be african-american.
Oct. 28, 2013, 10:43 am
John from Bay Ridge says:

This is what the article says, and we both know that the idea that Vinny will be the next speaker is nonsense:

Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) has been telling voters and the press that he is a top contender to head up the City Council next year
Oct. 28, 2013, 11:52 am
jerry from Dyker says:
I can read, and "he is a top contender" is not "he'll be the next Speaker."
Oct. 28, 2013, 12:12 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
OK Jerry, Vinny says that he is "top contender" to be the next speaker, not that he "will be" the next speaker.

Either statement is nonsense, don't you agree?
Oct. 28, 2013, 1:53 pm
joe from bay ridge says:
This is just another example of the incumbent's strange relationship with the truth. He wont' be the next Speaker or even a "top contender", he won't even be a candidate. No one who follows this has mentioned him and why would they? He's not a leader now and doesn't have a following.

He knows as much but he thinks we're all dumb.
Oct. 28, 2013, 2:15 pm
jerry from Dyker says:
John from Bay Ridge wrote: "OK Jerry, Vinny says that he is "top contender" to be the next speaker, not that he "will be" the next speaker. "

It's "*a* top contender" -- and that's quoting Bredderman, not Gentile. (I hope you don't work in a field where people pay close attention to your words ...)
Oct. 28, 2013, 4:03 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
Jerry you're playing games to protect your man Vinny. I notice that you have not denied that Vinny is saying things to give voters the impression that he is a viable choice for Speaker, and that he actually have a real chance to become Speaker. Instead you want to keep quibbling about what's in the BP article.

Are you on Vinnie's payroll? Sure sounds like it to me.
Oct. 28, 2013, 4:55 pm
jerry from Dyker says:
I'm not playing games -- I'm being accurate (which you obviously don't think is important).

If you're arguing re some guy's statements you should quote *him,* not a reporter.

I have no connection to Gentile.

But John, others here periodically have suggested that you either are or work for Quaglione.

I can see why, and it's certainly not just because your posts back him.
Oct. 28, 2013, 6:09 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
Jerry, you're spinning things for Vinny. You're doing verbal gymnastics to avoid the point of the article and this discussion, namely that Vinny is doing his level best to make people believe that he'll be Speaker of the Council, if only he's elected again. You're not being accurate Jerry, you're being a mouth piece for Vinny.
Oct. 28, 2013, 10:32 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
He came up short again.
Oct. 30, 2013, 8:59 am
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
Regardless, the last thing we need representing us in the City Council is a Marty Golden clone.

It's time for Marty and his intolerance to retire to Mississippi.
Oct. 31, 2013, 9:50 am
Joe from Bay Ridge says:
Bay Ridger: Intolerance against whom?
Oct. 31, 2013, 9:59 am
Queen of the Click from Bay Ridge says:
Quaglione does not have the leadership or knowledge needed to be a councilman.

When Quaglione's home garbage was not picked up last winter, he tweeted a complaint about it instead of calling one of his bosses' contacts. When my garbage isn't picked up, I call the Sanitation supervisor on his cell phone. The supervisor gave me his number the first time I contacted him. Quaglione has been at Golden's office for 10 years and should have a phone full of contacts to help him get his garbage picked up. Yet, he sat on Twitter and complained. The author of this article published the story in February. See here:

Last month, Quaglione went to complain on Twitter again and 311 told him how to properly handle the situation:

In the Bay Ridge debate, Quaglione recommended Sal Albanese for NYC Education Chancellor. Albanese is a nice man, but he hasn't been in the NYC education system in more than a decade. You can see the author of this article questioning Quaglione's recommendation here:

Tonight on Channel 1 television, Quaglione said he was going to make a task force to deal with problems around our area like the painting of religious statues this summer. Sounds good, right? That task force already exists and Quaglione was not aware of it. Gentile informed him on the show.
Oct. 31, 2013, 11:14 pm
Bruce from Bay Ridge says:
Queen, maybe Quaglione should have called Vinny and asked him to pick up his garbage.
Nov. 1, 2013, 12:08 pm
Aine from Ridge says:
This guy John or Joe whoever he is a shill for the tea party 3rd AVE express! He is full of baloney and seems to have a personal vendetta against Gentile!JQ's qualification is that Golden promised him a promotion and Golden gets to control the Council seat! JQ stated that his qualifications are that he throws out the garbage, goes food shopping, and is an "average guy"Please I saw him on a channel 1 debate and I kind of felt sorry for him! "I am not Marty Golden"' he says! Please!
Nov. 2, 2013, 4:23 pm
Aine from Ridge says:
Because I must admit, as much as I don't like to, that Golden is an experienced, crafty, astute politician,and JQ doesn't even make junior varsity! He is way out of his league !
Nov. 2, 2013, 4:30 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
Aine, please tell us what Vinnie's qualifications are. You've been silent on that front, preferring to engage in moronic personal attacks on Quaglione, where I have, along with others, been criticizing Vinnie's record itself.
Nov. 3, 2013, 8:50 pm
ridger from BR says:
These two guys are our only choices??? God help us.
Nov. 3, 2013, 11:50 pm
Aine from Ridge says:
Joe/John you are kidding right? Quaglione has no record and that's right out of the horse's mouth! Along with being Golden's chosen one ,he goes food shopping,does the laundry, changes diapers, and is an average guy. YOU my friend are the moron for thinking we do not know you are a shill or have a personal axe to grind! Voting for the farmer because of your high ideals! What baloney
Nov. 4, 2013, 11:02 am
John from Bay Ridge says:
Aine, I'll say this for you, you're consistent. You make absolutely no sense.
Nov. 5, 2013, 7:43 am
Aine from Ridge says:
Really? I guess you have a hard time processing critical thinking, or understanding nuance! Coming from you , I could see why it would make no sense! Thank You for the compliment!
Nov. 5, 2013, 8:21 am

Comments closed.

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