Councilman Charles Barron said today he is running for his wife’s State Assembly seat–and if a recent campaign video is any indication, the outspoken lawmaker is sure to be noticed if he wins.
The video features Mr. Barron, who has long taken exception to the lack of diversity in the art of the City Council’s ornate chamber, excitedly pointing to clear plastic bags installed to cover a statue of Thomas Jefferson and a portrait of George Washington.
“I finally did it. I bagged Thomas Jefferson,” the term-limited Mr. Barron declares, calling Mr. Jefferson a “slaveholding pedophile.” “And I’m on my way out of the City Council up to Albany so I can bag the governor and bag the speaker.” (City Hall has been under construction and the coverings appear to be protective.)
Speaking with Politicker this morning, Mr. Barron said he wasn’t certain about why the pieces had been covered–“I don’t know if they’re doing that to make them better or get rid of them”–but indicated he is “definitely” running for the assembly seat that currently belongs to his wife, Inez Barron. Ms. Barron is the Democratic nominee for her husband’s council seat, which he must vacate because of term limits.
Mr. Barron, a political firebrand who once interrupted a speech by Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a banquet reception for the Association of Black and Latino Legislators, vowed to make his voice heard in the State Legislature as well.
“I plan on speaking truth to power up there. We have a black, Latino and Asian caucus up there that I think can be more powerful and influential and I’m going to organize and work closely with them to do that,” said Mr. Barron.
“The state needs to spend more of its budget on the poor,” he added. “We’ve got to alter the priorities. I plan on going up there–they’re going to hear from me. It’s not just going to be empty rhetoric. It’s going to be substance.”
Mr. Barron is likely to be the favorite for the East New York-based assembly seat. It is still unknown, however, whether Mr. Cuomo will call a special election or leave the seat vacant until the ordinarily scheduled elections at the end of next year.
Watch Mr. Barron’s video below: