At his campaign office opening this Sunday, City Comptroller candidate David Weprin announced he was endorsed by 20 current and former officials including former Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden and Assemblywoman Grace Meng of Flushing.
Golden joins Fernando Ferrer of the Bronx and David Dinkins of Manhattan as co-chairs of the campaign.
The office space was somewhat striking: a big cavernous store front around the corner from the Letterman Show and next door to where Studio 54 used to be (something Weprin’s campaign manager, Eben Bronfman, loves to point out to people).
Also endorsing Weprin yesterday were Representatives Gary Ackerman of Queens and Long Island, Steve Israel of Long Island, Weprin’s brother Mark, an Assemblyman, former City Comptroller candidate Jim Brennan of Brooklyn, along with several Democratic district leaders.
“I like to tease him,” said Mark Weprin. “He even has the perfect personality to be New York City comptroller.” That’s because “he is serious and, you know, not the most, greatest public speaker and he’s not out there as ‘I’m Mr. Personality.’ He’s out there because he knows what he’s doing.”
Mark Weprin also said that “we have some good friends in this race, but none of which would even hold a candle in the experience category.”
But what caught my eye was the endorsement from Meng (who was not at the event).
She’s a woman, but not backing the only woman in the race who is also from Queens, City Councilwoman Melinda Katz. And Meng, the only Asian-American in the state legislature, is also not backing John Liu, a councilman from Flushing who is running to become the first Asian-American elected citywide in New York’s history.
Liu and Meng have been political opponents for some time.
In 2002, Liu backed the re-election of Assemblyman Barry Grodenchik in Flushing, who defeated a crowded field of candidates that included Meng’s father Jimmy, a local businessman. Two years later, Grodenchik lost to Meng. He later stepped down, citing back pain. But Meng’s daughter, Grace, ran for the open seat against one of Liu’s staffers, Ellen Young. Grace
was kicked off the ballot for not moving into the district in time withdrew from the race before a challenge to her residency was settled. Then, last year, when Grace qualified to be on the ballot, she defeated Young.