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Treyger swipes back at ‘bad Democrat’ accusation

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Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) is reacting to accusations he is a bad Democrat by slinging similar claims against Assembly candidate Kate Cucco, who is challenging his ally Assemblywoman Pam Harris (D–Coney Island).

Cucco, a Democrat who sought the Working Families Party’s endorsement this go-’round, interviewed with the Conservative Party during her last bid for the seat in a 2015 special election, and her political plasticity calls into question her allegiance to the Democratic Party and its ideals, said Treyger.

“As a lifelong Democrat, I find it concerning when a candidate simultaneously seeks the endorsement of two political parties with irreconcilable platforms on opposite ends of the political spectrum: the Working Families Party and the Conservative Party,” he said. “How is the electorate to judge what Kate Cucco really stands for?”

Treyger’s shot is the latest volley in a battle between Bay Ridge and Coney Island politicos over the 46th Assembly District.

The Coney pol is running against Bay Ridgite Chris McCreight for male Democratic district leader in the 46th. McCreight and rumored Council hopeful Justin Brannan are members of the Bay Ridge Dems political club and are allied with Cucco.

McCreight and Brannan recently accused Treyger of being a bad Democrat for not supporting members of Bay Ridge Dems who challenged Republicans in state and federal races. Treyger said they weren’t good for the job, but Bay Ridgites said that is no excuse.

For instance, Treyger did not back Councilman Vincent Gentile’s (D–Bay Ridge) 2015 run for congress (a campaign McCreight managed and Brannan aided as spokesman). But around the same time, Cucco was wooing the Conservative party, its chairman said.

“She did well on issues. She is very strong on anti-crime as well as her history of activity is superior — an excellent community activist,” said party leader Gerry Kassar. “We have a very high opinion of her.”

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D–Borough Park) and Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D–Borough Park) have received Conservative Party support, but the party had trouble backing Cucco because she supports Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Kassar said.

“Dov Hikind and Simcha Felder are not supporters of Hillary Clinton,” he said. “That’s a big consideration to us.”

Cucco interviewed with the Working Families Party this year, but the left-leaning group refused her because she is backed by pro-charter school political action committee New Yorkers for Independent Action, according to the Working Families Party’s New York director.

“[She] is being supported by a Super PAC funded by out-of-district billionaires dedicated to privatizing public education and aiming to defeat progressive elected officials across New York State,” said Ari Kamen.

Cucco’s campaign declined to comment.

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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