Cobble Hill

Primary focus: Key endorsements for Sikora and Simon in Brooklyn’s 52nd Assembly race

Cuomo denies he’s dropping Hochul from ticket

September 2, 2014 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
NYC "I voted" sticker by Mary Frost
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With primary elections one week from Tuesday, big endorsements have been announced in the race for Brooklyn’s 52nd Assembly District, where Jo Anne Simon, Pete Sikora and Doug Biviano have been campaigning all out for Joan Millman’s seat.

On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed Sikora, an organizer for the Communication Workers of America union, saying that Sikora “cares about diverse, inclusive and affordable Brooklyn neighborhoods, and has a record of getting results–from helping pass lead paint legislation to standing up to Wal-Mart.”

Whether the endorsement will help Sikora in the district is an open question. While de Blasio is popular on his Park Slope home turf, his failure to follow through on his campaign promise to preserve Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill has caused deep-seated dissatisfaction in LICH’s catchment area — which happens to overlap Assembly District 52.

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Sikora also has the endorsements of state Se. Daniel Squadron and City Councilmembers Stephen Levin and Brad Lander, and a long list of unions.

Sikora’s competitor Simon, who has served as Democratic District Leader and State Committeewoman, scored an endorsement from New York City Public Advocate Letitia James on Tuesday at a press conference in Gowanus. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer officially threw his support behind Simon at the same presser.

Simon also received the endorsement of the New York Times over the weekend. “Jo Anne Simon, a respected lawyer, has been a stalwart worker for the community, helping to fight Vito Lopez, the borough’s tyrannical former Democratic Party leader,” the Times said.

Biviano, hamstrung by a shortage of campaign funds, has received the endorsement of former mayoral candidate Sal Albanese.

The 52nd Assembly District, encompassing Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Gowanus and Park Slope, is rocked with controversy this election season, with issues ranging from the closing of LICH to the sale of libraries and development battles in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Gowanus and Brooklyn Heights.

The three candidates will be debating Tuesday, September 2 at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn Heights at 7 p.m. (tickets appear to be sold out).

In addition, Brooklyn Independent Media is sponsoring a final debate on Wednesday, September 3 at 7 p.m., at BRIC House Ballroom, 647 Fulton St. at Rockwell Place. The debate will be moderated by Erik Engquist, assistant managing editor of Crain’s New York Business.


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In other primary races, Rubain Dorancy and Jesse Hamilton, candidates vying for state Senate District 20, will be debating on Wednesday, September 3 on NY1’s Inside City Hall. The seat in District 20 was vacated by Eric Adams after his election as Brooklyn borough president.

District 20 encompasses sections of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Brownsville, Gowanus and Sunset Park.

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Dell Smitherman, who is challenging John Sampson in Brooklyn’s Senatorial District 19 (Brownsville, East New York, Canarsie, Sheepshead Bay), has received endorsements from Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“From fighting for a higher minimum wage to expanding healthcare access and public transit, Dell’s priorities are the priorities of working New Yorkers,” de Blasio said.

Smitherman has also received support from the Working Families Party, a number of unions including 1199 SEIU, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. He received the endorsement of Citizens Union in August. Sampson faces embezzlement charges.

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Rumors and buzz: Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul have both denied the New York Post’s report that Cuomo is considering dumping Hochul as his running mate, according to Capital New York and TWC News.

Law professor Tim Wu, Zephyr Teachout’s running mate, has picked up momentum in the race, and last week Wu received the endorsement of the New York Times.

Teachout made a splash in Cobble Hill on Saturday when she called for an investigation into the sale of Long Island College Hospital (LICH), calling the state’s sale of the hospital to a developer a case of “classic corruption.”

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