Melissa Mark-Viverito Set to Hire Former State Senate Contender

Jay Otaño. (Photo: Facebook)
Jason Otaño. (Photo: Facebook)

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is set to hire Jason Otaño, an attorney and former candidate for the state senate and assembly, a spokesman for the office confirmed to the Observer.

Mr. Otaño will join the general counsel’s office of the City Council, though his exact title and salary have yet to be defined.

“Details are being finalized,” the spokesman, Eric Koch, said.

Mr. Otaño is a member of the New Kings Democrats, a northern Brooklyn Democratic club that directly challenged the Democratic establishment in the borough when it was run by ex-party boss Vito Lopez.

He ran for state senate in 2012 and the assembly in 2013, losing both times to candidates with ties to the local Democratic machine.

In 2012, Mr. Otaño ran against State Senator Martin Dilan, a close ally of Mr. Lopez. An underdog trying to unseat a longtime lawmaker, Mr. Otaño garnered only 33 percent of the vote. A year later, Mr. Otaño ran for the seat that had been vacated by Mr. Lopez after he was charged with sexually harassing his staffers. But Mr. Otaño lost to another Lopez confidante, Maritza Davila, who easily won the seat in a three-candidate field.

Mr. Otaño’s new gig in the City Council, however, represents the latest coup for NKD. Antonio Reynoso, a club member, was elected to the City Council last year after thwarting Mr. Lopez’s comeback bid. And Lincoln Restler, a club founder and former district leader, recently joined Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.

Mr. Otaño did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Melissa Mark-Viverito Set to Hire Former State Senate Contender