Evening Read: ‘He Wants to Drive Everybody Out of the City, But That’s Okay’

vito lopez flickr Evening Read: He Wants to Drive Everybody Out of the City, But Thats Okay

Vito Lopez (Photo: Flickr/azipaybarah)

Assemblyman Vito Lopez‘s GOP opponent, Richy Garcia, who couldn’t really get off the ballot even if he wanted to, apparently flip-flopped on whether he would drop out of the campaign. He’s “back” in it. This is basically a formality, however, as Mr. Lopez would be a formidable foe in a Democratic primary. A general election in heavily Democratic Bushwick? Fuhgettaboutit.

Selvena Brooks, a former staffer for the Senate Democrats who currently works for the SEIU, has filed paperwork for Councilman James Sanders‘ seat. After Mr. Sanders is elected to the State Senate this November, a special election will be held to replace him in 2013. Mr. Sanders is supporting his chief of staff, Donovan Richards, for the job.

Also popping up on today’s list of new filings was Community Board 8 member Andy Cohen for term-limited Bronx Councilman Oliver Koppell‘s seat.

Are you ready for some post-Shabbos political action in 48 hours? If so, you’re in luck, as former Governor David Paterson and State GOP Chairman Ed Cox will square off on Assemblyman Dov Hikind‘s radio show late Saturday night.

Democratic former Councilman Simcha Felder has officially pulled off an impressive electoral act by winning the Conservative Party’s write-in primary against incumbent Senator David Storobin. “My deepest gratitude to everyone who took the time to vote,” Mr. Felder said in a statement. “Since my first election to the City Council, I’ve been honored to run as the Conservative Party’s candidate, and I’m honored to do so again. I look forward to working with the party’s great leadership to win a strong victory in November.” The party’s leadership had openly backed Mr. Storobin.

Mr. Storobin still opposes that mosque in Sheepshead Bay. “I support your belief and support for freedom of religion, and welcome as many religious institutions as our community desires,” he quixotically wrote in a second letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “My only concern is the organization building this particular project.”

GOP Senate candidate Wendy Long said her supporters should back her because, well, a Super PAC is. The subject message of her email was amusingly entitled, “A SuperPAC is backing Wendy Long – Are you?” Ms. Long’s opponent, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, doesn’t appear to enjoy the Super PAC’s advertising, however. Her attorney is seeking to pull the ads off the air by convincing station owners the commercials are false and “damage her reputation.”

On the congressional side of things, Roll Call upgraded several races Upstate to more favorable ratings for Democrats, including challenger Dan Maffei and incumbent Reps. Bill Owens and Louise Slaughter.

In response to a question about Council Speaker Christine Quinn saying the city would seek to ease regulations on small businesses, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said of his likely 2013 mayoral rival and Mayor Bloomberg, “With all due respect to them, that’s a joke. That’s not a real response.”

Mr. de Blasio’s comment came after he gave a mayoral-sounding address this morning before the Association for a Better New York, where he advocated a progressive tax system and early education investments. The mayor retorted, “He wants to drive everybody out of the city, but that’s okay. He’s a good guy.”

Watch Mr. de Blasio’s speech below: