Upper East Siders Eye Kellner’s Assembly Seat

Assemblyman Micah Kellner. (Photo: Facebook)

Micah Kellner. (Photo: Facebook)

In the wake of an unsuccessful–and controversial–City Council campaign, Assemblyman Micah Kellner could be facing brewing opposition for re-election in his own district next year.

Since losing the council seat to Ben Kallos in a Democratic primary and then failing again in the general running on the Working Families Party line, insiders increasingly view Mr. Kellner as a highly vulnerable incumbent in an Upper East Side district chock full of aspiring politicians.

One candidate, marketing executive and army veteran David Menegon, declared over the summer that he is running from the Assembly seat and has been holding fund-raisers and campaign  events since Mr. Keller’s loss.

“I think that people voted pretty loudly and Micah got 10 percent of the vote,” Mr. Menegon told Politicker this morning, referring to the margin Mr. Kellner netted in the general election. “Micah was faced with a real race for the first time and people chose a different option.”

But most expect Mr. Menegon to face other challengers, with at least four other candidates now eying the seat, according to sources. Their ranks include adjunct professor Cory Evans, investment banker Gus Christensen, former City Council candidate Ed Hartzog and NOW-NYC president Sonia Ossorio.

Reached at his office today, Mr. Christensen confirmed his interest in the seat, but declined to comment further. Mr. Evans, Mr. Hartzog and Ms. Ossorio did not immediately return requests for comment.

Mr. Kellner’s political stock has been sinking since July, when it was revealed that he was the subject of a sexual harassment allegation four years ago that was never referred to the Assembly’s ethics committee. Mr. Kellner, who had been hoping to move from the Assembly to the City Council, subsequently lost much of his support and eventually fell in a landslide. Mr. Kellner’s scorched-earth post-primary campaign rallied even more of the local Democratic establishment to Mr. Kallos’s side.

But whether he can keep his Assembly seat is still an open question.

“He’s very vulnerable to a challenge. Is he vulnerable to a successful challenge? That’s the question,” one Upper East Side Democratic insider said. “I’ve had very blunt conversations with him. There’s a very real possibility the guy has to resign if the ethics committee in Albany goes after him. The circus around him makes it hard for him to stay. Who knows what happens.”

Mr. Kellner did not immediately return requests for comment.

Upper East Siders Eye Kellner’s Assembly Seat