City & State: This week’s political “Winners and Losers” list

Written by City & State on . Posted in Politics.


Joe Lhota

WINNERS

Eric Adams — Okay, we admit it, this could really go to anyone left standing in the Brooklyn Borough President’s race, after heir apparent Carlo Scissura announced he was dropping out of the race to pursue a position as president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Other bandied about candidates include Sen. Kevin Parker and even City Councilman Domenic Recchia, Jr., who’s also been mentioned as a possible comptroller candidate. Regardless, the race is wide open at this point. And for Senate Democrats like Adams, who are basically powerless as newborn kittens in the current Legislature, any position is better than the one they hold now.

Tony Avella – Some critics blasted his hydrofracking forum – not a hearing, mind you – as a media stunt, but it achieved his goal of keeping the contentious issue in the spotlight. On top of that, two potential and potentially strong challengers made it clear they wouldn’t run against him: fellow Democratic Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, who was redrawn into his district, and Republican Frank Padavan, whom Avella ousted two years ago.

Greg Ball — Republican Sen. Greg Ball lost a primary challenger yesterday in the form of Steve Katz, the veterinarian Assemblyman who once faced criminal charges over illegally dumping a dog and separate charges over possible mistreatment of a vicious chihuahua. Ball’s only other primary candidate at this point is a man who shares the same surname with a woman at the heart of a massive Manhattan prostitution ring, which leaves Greg Ball, once thought to be the Senate’s biggest liability, looking like the safe choice for Republicans in his district’s primary.

Simcha Felder — In Hebrew, Simcha translates directly into “joy.” And Simcha Felder certainly had a lot of that during his first week as a Senate candidate, landing the endorsements of the Brooklyn Orthodox communities two most prominent current pols, Councilman David Greenfield and Assemblyman Dov Hikind. That could well box other big-name candidates out of the race, like ex-Councilman Noach Dear, and could convince everyone to simply get behind Felder. Maybe that’s why Felder can be so coy with which party he’ll causus with in Albany, and can play it sort of cute by keeping his city job while he runs.

John Sexton — For months, Mayor Bloomberg teased about the possibility of a second applied sciences campus to help spur the city’s developing tech sector. And this week, in a remarkably well managed roll out, he announced that New York University would join Cornell and Technion in the building their own city-supported engineering school. NYU President John Sexton, who was withstood a wave of discontent over the school’s expansion plans, now gets the chance to be on the winning side of the equation. Excelsior!

LOSERS

Courtney Burke – The problems at the state’s embattled Office for People with Developmental Disabilities were around long before Burke took over, but that isn’t shielding her from criticism lately – especially when word got out the Cuomo administration tried to get a critical OPWDD employee kicked off a legislative hearing she was set to speak at. Both eventually did show up, along with a gaggle of reporters, but Burke would only attribute the matter to a “breakdown in communications.”

Dan Cantor — The Working Families Party must of thought it was in the clear after a judge ordered the disbandment of its for profit campaign arm Data & Field Services. But amid the gear up for the 2012 elections and the attempted revival of Occupy Wall Street comes the news that a special prosector was reopening the case, which means more legal fees and more headaches for Executive Director Dan Cantor. He may want to occupy a therapists couch after this one … Or a bar stool.

Joe Lhota – Whether the governor is a car guy or not, the fact that he hasn’t ridden a subway since taking office won’t persuade anyone he cares much about the MTA. And that’s yet another challenge for the MTA chief, who has to keep the trains running and the stations from falling further into disrepair. He did help pave the way for another applied sciences center in New York City, but  the TWU raised hell about the sale, and tarnished the good deed.

To read the full list at City & State and to vote for the ultimate winner and loser of the week click here.

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