East Side Theories

The names swirling around for Pete Grannis’ seat include his chief of staff Tony Morenzi, the neighboring Assemblyman’s chief of staff Barry Klein and local state committee member Micah Kellner.

A simple (and simplistic) scouting report would go something like this: Klein is affable, and he knows the district well. Kellner is something of wonder boy who worked on several local races and works for the city comptroller now. Morenzi is apt to get the endorsement of his boss, which makes him, I suppose, the front-runner.

On the other hand, that last distinction might be of limited value here.

Remember when Manhattan Assemblyman Steve Sanders retired, and his chief of staff Steve Kauffman ran for the seat? He was considered the front-runner and the presumed beneficiary of whatever operation kept Sanders re-elected for more than two decades.

But because there had been no solid fund-raising or grassroots operation built up to keep Sanders in place, there was never much of an inheritance for Kaufman. He lost the county endorsement to outsider Sylvia Friedman (who was then defeated for re-election by Brian Kavanagh) and that was that.

There may be a similar hierarchical power vacuum in the Grannis district.

Of the roughly 200 county committee seats in the district, about 30 are filled. That means, essentially, that the Democratic nomination could be determined by as few as 16 people.

Which is to say that this thing is wide open.

— Azi Paybarah East Side Theories