Rafael Espinal Sets Up Council Campaign

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In another sign the 2013 races are almost fully underway, Assemblyman Rafael Espinal, who first won a relatively high-profile special election in northeastern Brooklyn in 2011, is moving forward with his aim to replace term-limited Councilman Erik Dilan next year and formed a campaign committee for the effort.

“I’m leaning towards running, but the truth of the matter is I just got elected to the assembly,” Mr. Espinal told us this morning. “But that option’s available. I’m very proud of my record in the record in the State Assembly.”

One Brooklyn Democrat told us the plans are even more certain than that and Mr. Espinal is all-but-certain to run.

Regardless, the move would make some sense; before he was in Albany, Mr. Espinal was Mr. Dilan’s chief of staff. And the City Council tends to be an easier place for a junior member to effect change than the seniority-dominated State Assembly. “I have a lot of experience there, I worked for Erik for nearly 5 years,” Mr. Espinal explained. “Erik has done a great job as a city councilman, and he’s built up a lot of momentum for our community.”

Another candidate, Jesus Gonzalez, has already declared his campaign for Mr. Dilan’s seat. As Mr. Gonzalez was the Working Families Party-backed candidate who challenged Mr. Espinal in his initial special election, 2013 looks likely to be a rematch between the two. Mr. Espinal said it would be “interesting” if that indeed came to pass. Rafael Espinal Sets Up Council Campaign