The DiNapoli Question

Upward-aspiring Democrats in Manhattan have long had to navigate between rank-and-file party loyalists and good-government reformers.

The candidates running for the East Side Assembly seat being vacated by Pete Grannis were given a chance over the weekend to express their theoretical willingness to go against the party leadership in Albany by revealing which comptroller candidate they would have voted for if they were already in the Assembly.

At a closed-press event for Democratic leaders and candidates this Sunday, three Democratic candidates came up with three different answers, according to someone who was there.

Barry Klein, chief of staff to Assemblyman Jonathan Bing, said that he, like his boss, would have voted for the winner, Tom DiNapoli.

Susan Chamlin, an aide to Senator Liz Krueger, said that she, like her boss, would have voted for Martha Stark.

And Micah Kellner, an aide to NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson, said he thought that his boss would have been perfect for the job, but that he would have voted, if given the opportunity, for Howard Weitzman.

Remember, the Democratic nomination is voted on by county committee members (regular Democrats) but in Manhattan, everybody loves a reformer. So we may not have heard the end of this.

– Azi Paybarah