Third-party endorsement could take Coney race to the wire

Beach battle: Coney council candidate Todd Dobrin claimed his group Friends of the Boardwalk created a program that trained teens from the People’s Playground to become lifeguards at the candidates forum on June 13.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

This party won’t be over in September!

Coney City Council contender Todd Dobrin hopes to carry his campaign all the way to Election Day — even if he loses the Democratic primary — now that he has the support of the Working Families Party.

The labor-backed third party has decided to give its endorsement to the union electrician and president of Friends of the Boardwalk. If the party follows up by giving him its November ballot line, that could take the race to replace term-limited Councilman Domenic Recchia (D–Coney Island) into a political game seven much to the chagrin of local Democratic leaders.

Dobrin is vying against former Council Speaker Quinn staffer John Lisyanskiy, aide to Assemblyman Bill Colton (D–Bensonhurst) Mark Treyger, and Pastor Connis Mobley of the United Community Baptist Church for the seat.

“I’m in it to win it. I got the line, I’m in it to the end,” said Dobrin.

But some Coney Dems criticized Dobrin’s determination to persevere — even suggesting that it could inadvertently give the district to Tea Party Republican candidate Andy Sullivan.

“Even though Todd has a perfect right to run, I think that once the primary is over and the people have spoken, we have to rally around the nominee,” said Democratic activist Brian Gotlieb. “We have to be sure the district remains in Democratic hands instead of siphoning off votes and potentially handing the district over to the Republicans.”

But Dobrin said he was not afraid of spoiling the race and putting Sullivan — who recently moved to the district from Bay Ridge so he would not have face a primary against another Republican — in the seat.

“I’m not that concerned with Andy Sullivan. I don’t know much about him, and I don’t know what kind of support he has here,” Dobrin said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at

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