Local News

Politicker intern David Greenhouse will be keeping track of the handful of competitive City Council races in November — Upper East Side, Bay Ridge, and maybe the north Bronx — so if you’re involved in one of those contests, please keep him in the loop at dlg2103(at)columbia.edu.

He recently spent some time in Bay Ridge, and filed this report:

It’s been a rough season for Vinny Gentile, what with the publicized sexual harassment allegations, and here’s another one to chew on: Bay Ridge residents have been going to his opponent’s campaign to get help with city services.

Republican candidate Pat Russo told the Politicker on Sunday that his office volunteers have been been fielding complaints about noise and potholes. The Politicker was skeptical, but as if on cue, a middle-aged woman emerged from a nearby church and let Pat know she’d called his office about noxious odors from the Owl’s Head wastewater treatment plant. Pat said he was on the case.

For legislators at any level, leverage with the bureaucracy is one of the pillars in the so-called incumbent protection program. We’re not saying Vinny doesn’t have it, but if voters think Pat does, it certainly means his challenger candidacy is more credible.

Reached later, Gentile campaign manager Chris Lanier said defended his boss’s pothole operation and added, “Pat Russo appears magically on the scene whenever an election is coming. People know that. When there isn’t an election imminent, he’s nowhere to be found.”