Simon ‘Disappointed’ After Mayor Endorses Sikora

Jo Anne Simon today. (Photo: Ross Barkan)

Jo Anne Simon today. (Photo: Ross Barkan)

Jo Anne Simon may have the endorsements of Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer and a host of local elected officials, but the mayor’s decision not to back her stung just a bit, she implied this morning.

Ms. Simon, at a press conference in Gowanus, Brooklyn, said Mr. de Blasio’s choice to back Pete Sikora, an economist with the Communication Workers of America, over herself was a “disappointment.”

“I was disappointed. I think that’s the word, that the mayor chose to support someone who is politically aligned with him in a different fashion, with the Working Families Party for a number of years,” Ms. Simon told the Observer, charging Mr. Sikora lacked her extensive background in activism. “He’s somebody who simply doesn’t have the background and the knowledge of the district.”

The bitter Democratic primary for the brownstone Brooklyn district pits Ms. Simon, a local Democratic district leader and attorney who earned a reputation for fighting the party establishment, against Mr. Sikora, the candidate chosen by Mr. de Blasio and the labor-backed Working Families Party to replace retiring Assemblywoman Joan Millman. Ms. Millman is supporting Ms. Simon, but Mr. Sikora has secured the nods of several area elected officials like Councilman Brad Lander, a WFP aligned pol, and State Senator Daniel Squadron. (A third candidate, Doug Biviano, is also running.)

In a statement, Ms. Simon claimed that Mr. Sikora was “politically parachuted in by the Working Families Party to try to buy this seat.” It was a striking statement from a liberal Democrat in an area where the WFP helped enable Mr. de Blasio’s rise.

Ms. James and Mr. Stringer both won their elections last year with the WFP’s help, but insisted progressive Democrats could disagree on certain races.

“Look, we progressives can also disagree. We can have a disagreement, we can support different candidates,” Mr. Stringer said. “In this case, those of us who are here today stand with Jo Anne Simon. It doesn’t mean we are renouncing the Working Families Party.”

Ms. James even took a shot at Mr. de Blasio for endorsing Mr. Sikora, who shares a political consultant with the mayor.

“Obviously I’m disappointed that the mayor decided to endorse another candidate,” Ms. James said. “Let me just say, that usually when men mess up things they usually leave it to women to clean it up and Jo Anne’s gonna clean it up.”