So much for that “anti-incumbent” mood!
Out of 33 potential contested seats in Albany and in Washington, there will only be 11 primary elections this year — and many of them are sure to be incumbent blowouts.
Out of the 27 elected officials representing Brooklyn in Albany, only seven are facing Democratic primary opponents. And since Democrats overwhelmingly outnumber Republicans in the borough, that means that least 20 state incumbents will be back in their cushy leather seats come January — despite everybody crying about how ineffective and dysfunctional our state legislators are.
It’s not that much better in Congress: out of our five House representatives, just two will face primary challengers.
Still, there are a few surprises. Here’s a quick preview of what you’re going to see at the polls this September:
10th District (Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights): MTV-reality star and hip-hop writer Kevin Powell will be trying to take out 27-year incumbent Rep. Ed Towns, but he’s not alone. Elias Weir, a Canarsie accounts payable supervisor, who lost a bid to unseat Councilman Lew Fidler (D-Canarsie) in 2005 has also thrown his hat in the ring.
12th District (Williamsburg, Red Hook): As she prepares for her 10th term (which will mark her 20th year in office) incumbent Rep. Nydia Velazquez will have to work for it, or at least break a sweat. She’s facing self-made businessman Bruce Hirschfeld, who started his campaign pretty early — back in October, 2009.
13th District (Bay Ridge): Bay Ridge’s political landscape is looking like the land of three Mikes. No Democrats are challenging Rep. Mike McMahon’s quest for a second term, but Republicans are placing bets on who he will face in November. Gulf War veteran Michael Grimm and energy consultant Michael Allegretti are both vying for the Republican line.
Not facing primary challengers: Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-Park Slope), Jerry Nadler (D-Coney Island), McMahon, and Anthony Weiner (D-Sheepshead Bay)
18th District (Red Hook, Prospect Heights, Boerum Hill, Downtown): Incumbent State Senator Velmanette Montgomery will be facing attorney Mark Pollard. At a recent candidates night, Pollard, who was also an Assistant District Attorney under former DA Elizabeth Holtzman, chided Montgomery (who wasn’t there) claiming that she’s been in office “since Ronald Regan.” He also said that he was not going to disrespect Montgomery on the campaign trail. At least he’s off to a good start.
20th District (Fort Greene): Guillermo Philpotts wants to unseat incumbent state Sen. Eric Adams, but he may be booted out before he can even begin. The Board of Elections noted that Philpotts petition sheets were unbound and unnumbered — big no-nos that could have his signatures thrown out.
Not facing primary challengers: State Sens. Martin Malave Dilan (D-Williamsburg), Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge), Diane Savino (D-Bensonhurst) and Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights).
49th District (Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights): Here’s a weird one: Incumbent Assemblyman Peter Abbate isn’t facing a Democratic challenger, but there are two Republican candidates preparing to take him on. But first, Peter Cipriano and perennial candidate Lucretia Regina-Potter have to take each other out in a Republican primary similar to the one last year in Park Slope. But political sources say this is more about a political grudge match between members of the Kings County Republican Party and the Fiorello LaGuardia Republican Club than wanting to beat Abbate. The two groups have been at war with each other for years and Potter has deep ties to club founder Arnaldo Ferraro, who was an Assemblyman for just two years before Abbate beat him in 1986.
50th District (Williamsburg, Greenpoint): Assemblyman Joe Lentol, the longest serving Assemblyman (if he wins this term, he’ll be soon celebrating his 40th year in office) will be facing Andre Soleil, an out-of-left-field candidate who was a dyed in the wool Republican who worked in both the Giuliani and Pataki administrations before changing stripes.
52nd District (Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill): Doug Biviano, who came in sixth out of seventh in the council race ultimately won by Steve Levin last year is taking on Assemblywoman Joan Millman. Maybe he’ll make good on his promise to clean up Albany, but we doubt it. Millman has nearly $155,000 stowed away for her re-election campaign. Biviano has $4,332.37.
Not facing primary challengers: Jim Brennan (D-Park Slope), Bill Colton (D-Bensonhurst), Peter Abbate (D-Dyker Heights), Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park), Vito Lopez (D-Williamsburg), Hakeem Jeffries (D-Fort Greene), Janele Hyer-Spencer (D-Bay Ridge).