Assemblyman Dov Hikind said he’d like to see one of his fellow Democrats, state Senator Kevin Parker, replaced this November, according to two people who attended a meeting earlier this week where Hikind spoke.
Hikind was one of the guest speakers Wednesday night addressing Agudath Israel of America, a Jewish group based in downtown Manhattan that regularly hosts meetings with elected officials. According to an attendee there, Hikind referred to Parker as “a farce and a joke” and “he said he is going to unseat him this year.”
A second attendee, while less specific, confirmed Hikind’s unflattering remarks about his legislative colleague.
“I won’t pretend that the meeting didn’t take place or that he didn’t mention Parker’s name,“ said the attendee, who asked not to be named. “I wouldn’t say he spoke positively about him.”
According to this second source, Hikind said he was hopeful Parker would be defeated.
When reached on his cell phone earlier this afternoon, Hikind immediately hung up.
Hikind’s remarks about his colleague appear to have been unsolicited.
“The question that somehow led to him digress to an evaluation of Parker’s performance, the question had something to do with redistricting, gerrymandering and stuff like that,” according to the second attendee. “I’m not sure how that led to Parker because that should have nothing to do with Parker.”
When told of the remarks, Parker said, “I haven’t heard these comments” and “I feel like I continue to share a good relationship with Dov Hikind and I expect his support when I run for re-election.” He added, "To be honest, I am very surprised by it because it does not characterize the relationship that I think we have or the way that he has spoken to me when we have spoken personally."
The only declared candidate seeking to oust Parker is City Councilman Kendall Stewart, who will be term-limited in 2009. Other state Senate Democrats expecting tough primaries are John Sabini in Queens and Marty Connor who represents parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Sabini’s likely opponent is City Councilman Hiram Monserrate, who will be term limited in 2009. Connor is being challenged by former Chuck Schumer aide Daniel Squadron.