In Brooklyn, peace between rival factions of the county Democratic party is hard to come by.
Levin alleges that Restler, a persistent critic of Brooklyn Democratic chairman Vito Lopez, agreed not to challenge Levin for his Council seat in 2013, if Levin and Lopez ended their attempts to challenge Restler in his race for re-election this year.
“This year’s district leader race, and the possibility of him running against me in next year’s City Council race, were subjects we discussed,” Levin said. “[Restler] said that either he has zero races, or he has two races.”
“We did not come out of it with any reconciliation,” Levin added.
“I was hopeful there might be an opportunity for the Councilman to establish his independence from Vito Lopez, but given his ongoing and aggressive intervention in my District Leader race – clearly that is not going to happen,” Restler said.
Rather than accept the deal, Levin is actively supporting Christopher Olechowski, who recently formed a campaign committee to raise money for a run against Restler.
Restler asked Levin for a beer summit to talk about rumors that Levin was aggressively seeking out challengers to run against him for district leader – including North Brooklyn Development Corporation President Rich Mazur, Greenpoint Gazette Publisher Jeff Mann, Community Board 1 District Manager Gerry Esposito, former district leader Steve Cohn and his son Warren Cohn, all of whom declined. Levin was also mulling a shot at running against Restler himself, sources said.
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