Less than two days after the 2010 midterm election season ended, Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benjamin has formed a campaign committee and is laying the ground work for a 2012 run for Congress.
Benjamin, who decided not to seek re-election to the Assembly this year, has long been considering running against Congressman Jose Serrano, but has now begun the campaign in earnest.
He said he is beginning so early since “it will take two years to raise enough money to take out an incumbent.”
Benjamin added that although he is in Serrano’s district now and preparing to run against him, he will run against Eliot Engel if he is redistricted into Engel’s seat.
“With Democrats in the minority there is less of a rationale to keep these congressmen around,” he said.
Benjamin said that he decided against another run for the Assembly after he began seriously considering a Congressional run, since he said it would be unfair to his constituents to occupy one office while his mind was on the other.
According to The Daily News, it is unlikely that Benjamin would have the support of the Bronx Democratic Party if he ran.
Benjamin said he was running because the Bronx remains one of the poorest counties in the nation and that the borough’s incumbent members of Congress have failed to improve the local economy.
“This is one of the poorest Congressional districts in the country and it hasn’t improved in 20-25 years. I have seen districts around the country that are not as bad as we are, but are able to attract Nissan plants, BMW plants,” he said. “It drives me up the wall to no end.”