Mr. Gentile tapped Chris McCreight, a strategist who mostly recently worked as a spokesman for former Assemblyman Karim Camara, to manage his campaign. Mr. Gentile’s campaign confirmed the hire to the Observer.
“We are very excited to have Chris on board. When it comes to field and GOTV, he’s one the best guys I know,” said Justin Brannan, a spokesman for Mr. Gentile. “He lives in the district and has worked on several races on both sides of the Verrazano so he knows NY-11 like the back of his hand.”
Mr. McCreight is known for running insurgent campaigns in Brooklyn. In 2013, he ran Sal Albanese’s unsuccessful mayoral campaign; Mr. Albanese was a predecessor of Mr. Gentile’s in the City Council. Two months after Mr. Albanese’s primary defeat, Mr. McCreight steered Mr. Gentile to re-election over Republican John Quaglione.
Mr. McCreight also has a reputation for helping underdogs over-perform. In 2012, he managed Democrat Andrew Gounardes’ campaign against Republican State Senator Martin Golden. Mr. Gounardes lost, but won the Bay Ridge portion of the district where Mr. Golden resides.
The 11th Congressional District includes a sliver of southern Brooklyn and all of Staten Island. The low turnout special election is expected to favor Mr. Donovan.
The election is set for May 5.