Assemblyman Micah Kellner needs to go away. Quickly.
Last month, Mr. Kellner was defeated in bid to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for a City Council seat on the East Side. His campaign against eventual victory Ben Kallos was hard fought, but there was no question about the result. Mr. Kellner lost by 6 percentage points.
Game over? You would think so, especially when you consider that a young woman who used to work for Mr. Kellner has accused him of sexual harassment. Sadly, such accusations border on the commonplace in the state Capitol these days, but the case against Mr. Kellner was notable even by those standards. The staffer said that after she spurned Mr. Kellner’s online solicitations, the assemblyman made her life miserable.
Mr. Kellner, who was single at the time, admitted that he sent the staffer inappropriate messages in 2009, but he has said he did not treat her poorly after she rejected him.
In their own way, East Side Democrats also rejected Mr. Kellner on Primary Day. And once again, it seems as though Mr. Kellner simply doesn’t know how to handle it. Rather than fade into deserved obscurity, Mr. Kellner is attempting to carry on as a candidate on the Working Families Party. The party had endorsed Mr. Kellner months ago, awarding him its ballot line, but party leaders joined many other former Kellner supporters in switching to Mr. Kallos.
Mr. Kellner needs to stand down and concede defeat. Democrats rejected him, and the Working Families Party doesn’t want him.
And that’s the problem—he still wants their line, even after his defeat and humiliation. Why? Well, there’s ego, of course. But Mr. Kellner would not be alone in that department.
Longtime Brooklyn District Attorney lost a hotly contested primary against Kenneth Thompson last month, seemingly bringing his long tenure to an unceremonious close. But wait: Mr. Hynes, while an unapologetic Democrat, also has the support of the Republican and Conservative parties. Mr. Hynes has decided to try to hold onto his job by running on those two lines in the fall, no small task in the overwhelmingly Democratic borough. Brooklyn hasn’t been home to a Republican of note since Jackie Robinson.
Mr. Hynes won’t win, but, rather than exit with a modicum of dignity, he’ll submit himself to rejection in November.
There’s a sense that Mr. Kellner’s stubborn refusal to accept defeat isn’t just about ego. With nearly $70,000 remaining in his campaign treasury and perhaps more to come through the city’s public finance system, Mr. Kellner has money to spread around to help repair his image. He paid thousands to the high-powered law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan during the primary campaign and may still require their services.
Mr. Kellner may think he can buy redemption, but he should realize that New Yorkers are no fools. Just as Mayor Anthony Weiner and Comptroller Eliot Spitzer.