Third Parties in Bay Ridge

Politicker Intern David Greenhouse rode out to Bay Ridge last night for a debate between City Councilman Vinnie Gentile and his challenger, Pat Russo.

He writes:

If there’s one thing Vinny Gentile and Pat Russo can agree on, it’s that New York’s cross-endorsement system opens up great lines of attack. Russo took a beating for being on the Republican/Liberal, Conservative, and Independence lines simultaneously.

“It makes no sense how [Russo] is running,” Gentile said. “A militant activist, a hardcore conservative, and a Republican liberal. … [He] will say anything or do anything to get his name on the ballot as many times as possible.”

But when the very next question asked Gentile about his own cross-endorsement by the Working Families Party, his tone changed abruptly.

“I don’t agree with every position, and I will stand up when I don’t agree with a position…. I don’t have a problem taking the WFP’s designation.”

Russo said essentially the same thing, that he had “agree[d] to disagree” with Mike on taxes and senior services, among other issues, and he equated Gentile’s WFP support with illegal immigration and non-citizen voting, neither of which plays well in southwest Brooklyn.