Bay Ridge

Carroll hopes to join cousin as Bay Ridge elected official

February 9, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Kevin Peter Carroll says he will pay attention to grassroots issues. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas

Democratic leader announces candidacy in local council race

The Carrolls may have two elected officials in the family by year’s end. Political leader Kevin Peter Carroll, the cousin of Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope), announced on Wednesday that he is running for the City Council seat in Bay Ridge.

Kevin Peter Carroll is the Democratic district leader of the 64th Assembly District, which takes in parts of Bay Ridge and Staten Island. He has served as the district leader for six years.

Robert Carroll was elected to the state Assembly in the 44th Assembly District in November.

Kevin Peter Carroll is the latest candidate to announce for the seat in the 43rd Council District, which has been represented by Democrat Vincent Gentile since 2003. Due to New York City’s term limits law, Gentile is not eligible to run for re-election in November. The council district covers Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights and takes in parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.

Gentile’s impending departure is setting off a political frenzy with potential candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties staking their claims on the seat.

In addition to Carroll, several Democrats have either announced that they are running or have signaled that they are considering running, including Assemblymember Peter Abbate (D-Dyker Heights-parts of Bensonhurst); Justin Brannan, Gentile’s former communications director; and Nancy Tong, Democratic district leader of the 47th Assembly District.

The Republicans who are officially in the race are Bob Capano, who served as the director of community boards for former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz; Liam McCabe, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-C-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island); and John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn).

Carroll described his decision-making process in an email to supporters.

“Over the past few months, a number of neighborhood leaders and supporters have strongly encouraged me to consider a run for the soon to be open City Council seat that covers Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, and Bensonhurst. After much thought and reflection, I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for the 43rd Council District today,” he wrote.

Carroll told supporters he will pay attention to bread and butter issues.

“By supporting the dynamic patchwork of communities that makes the 43rd Council District such a vibrant and wonderful place to live, we can ensure that the issues that matter most to all of us — good schools, safe and clean streets and reliable transportation — are prioritized and properly funded by City Hall,” he wrote.

Carroll works as an aide to Councilmember Stephen Levin (D-DUMBO-Brooklyn Heights-Downtown Brooklyn).

Carroll, won the district leadership in 2010 by defeating longtime leader Ralph Perfetto, who had held the post for more than 20 years.

District leaders, who are unpaid, are the grassroots organizers of a political party. They recruit candidates to run for public office, gather petition signatures to get candidates on the ballot and set up phone banks where volunteers call voters to seek support for a candidate, among other duties.

“We recruit volunteers, organize phone banks, go to churches and spread the word at subway stations. I’m a big believer in going to subway stops. You meet a lot of voters that way,” Carroll told the Brooklyn Eagle in 2013.

But Carroll sees his role as district leader as more expansive than just campaigning for elected officials. “I think it’s also important to be a community leader and to be active in the community,” he told the Eagle.