Bay Ridge

McCabe throws his hat into ring for council seat

February 7, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Liam McCabe has high hopes for his City Council run. Photo courtesy of McCabe

Advocate for homeless seeks to succeed Gentile

Liam McCabe, a Bay Ridge civic activist who founded an organization to help the homeless, is the latest person to throw his hat into the ring for the local City Council seat.

McCabe, a Conservative who formerly worked as an aide to U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, made his announcement in front of a crowd of 100 supporters at the Leif Bar on Fifth Avenue on Feb. 2.

McCabe is running in the 43rd Council District, a seat that has been held by Democrat Vincent Gentile since 2003. But Gentile is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.

The 43rd Council District covers most of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights and includes parts of Bensonhurst.

In addition to McCabe, the other Republican and Conservative candidates who have announced plans to run are John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden; and Bob Capano, an adjunct professor at John Jay College who also manages a Gristedes supermarket in Manhattan.

Two Democrats, Justin Brannan, a former top staffer to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, and Nancy Tong, Democratic district leader of the 47th Assembly District, have announced that they are running.

Asemblymember Peter Abbate (D-parts of Bensonhurst-Dyker Heights) is said to be considering running for the Council seat.

McCabe is the founder of the Willie McCabe Memorial Run, an event held in Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge each year. The run, named after his late father, raises money for organizations that help the homeless. McCabe has been publicly candid about the fact that his father, a military veteran, was homeless. McCabe told his supporters he had promised his father to go into public service.

“I made a promise to him and I’m not about to break that promise,” he said.

“I was very excited and humbled to see over 100 people turn out to hear my decision regarding the race,” McCabe said later, “The love and support I felt from the community was undeniable and I intend to make the neighborhood that has supported me my whole life proud.”

At his announcement, McCabe said he planned to take part in the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE), the city’s official count of the homeless living on the streets on Feb. 6. The HOPE Count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is conducted locally under the auspices of the New York City Department of Homeless Services.