On the steps of City Hall yesterday, Jay Otaño, campaigning against incumbent Martin Dilan, formally received the endorsement of a number of elected officials, including Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Congressman Ed Towns and Councilwoman Diana Reyna. Although Mr. Towns was scheduled to attend, however, he didn’t ultimately make the event and sent his chief of staff in his stead. Nevertheless, Mr. Otaño’s supporters there were certainly enthused.
“It’s getting hot out here, but it ain’t nothing like the heat we’re bringing on the Brooklyn Democratic machine!” District Leader Lincoln Restler declared as the day’s scorching heat was setting in. “Day-to-day, we need a senator who cares about our neighborhoods, who is fighting for our neighborhoods, and that man is Jason Otaño!”
“He has done nothing to promote economic development in a district that is in such dire need of jobs,” Mr. Otaño said of his opponent while stating he was humbled by the endorsements. “And he’s nowhere to be seen in this district. Our communities are in a crisis of leadership in Albany and this is why I’m running for the New York State Senate in the 18th district, because we deserve better.”
Mr. Otaño was hardly the only candidate receiving Ms. Velázquez’s endorsement yesterday, however. Also on the steps of City Hall were John Rodriguez, running for the State Assembly against Rafael Espinal, and Darma Diaz, running for district leader in that same seat.
And even though she’s strongly backing seemingly every candidate running against Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez’s leadership this electoral season — after beating back a primary challenge from Mr. Dilan’s son, Councilman Erik Dilan — Ms. Velázquez denied she’s on a warpath against Mr. Lopez’s organization.
“Who? Who?” she asked when we brought up Mr. Lopez after the press conference.
Of course, Mr. Dilan has earned his own endorsements, notably the endorsement of Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who won the Democratic nomination to replace Mr. Towns next year.
“We had a special guest, his name is Hakeem Jeffries, and he spoke and while he was there he endorsed myself,” Mr. Dilan said of a fundraising event he recently held.
“Assemblyman Jeffries has worked closely with Senator Dilan in Albany on legislation important to the community, and supports his re-election to enable that work to continue on behalf of the neighborhoods they both represent,” Mr. Jeffries campaign said in a subsequent statement.