The crowd at Dan Squadron’s kick-off state Senate campaign fund-raiser at a bar in NoLita last night was full of young professionals, and had the feel of an insider’s party.
Squadron’s friends and family were heavily represented–his brother and at least two former classmates from Fieldston High School (class of ’98) were there. Also, a number of the partygoers were employees of elected city officials and declined to be identified by name. (One of those I spoke to mentioned that he was there as a personal friend of Squadron’s, but did not want to give the impression that his boss was supporting Squadron’s primary bid against incumbent Democratic legislator Marty Connor.)
Squadron, wearing a full beard and well-cut suit, also declined to speak on the record, but he did say he was happy with the turnout and impressed with the enthusiasm of the crowd. He’s a former aide to Chuck Schumer (and co-author of Schumer’s recent book, (Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time) and will be challenging Connor, who has been a state senator for 30 years and an election lawyer for candidates and office holders throughout the state.
In a recent interview, Evan Thies, a candidate in a City council race, framed the 2009 Democratic primaries in New York as a contest between "progressives" and "machine people." But this Senate race, on the most immediate level, may also turn out to be an unusual battle between elected officials, many of whom will support Connor, and those officials’ staffers. (We’ll have a better idea of this when the January 15 filings come out.)
When I left about halfway through, 110 tickets had been sold, according to the people at the check-in desk. They were friendly, but asked not to be quoted.