Camara Backs Seddio For Brooklyn Dem Chair
Assemblyman Karim Camara, who had been floated by reformers as a potential replacement for outgoing Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Vito Lopez, just released a statement endorsing Lopez’s protege, former Assemblyman/ex-Surrogate Court Judge Frank Seddio, saying Seddio will “will work to establish an inclusive, unified and transparent Kings county political party.”
Camara’s endorsement comes just hours before district leaders will gather to vote on a successor to Lopez, who announced late last month he would not seek another term as chairman, thanks to the burgeoning sexual harassment scandal that has now enmeshed not only the once-powerful assemblyman, but three top state leaders, too: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
Lopez’s decision to relinquish his chairmanship was only half of what his critics had called on him to do after the revelation that he had verbally and physically harassed young female staffers – charges he has vehemently denied.
A wide array of good government groups, editorial boards and Lopez’s fellow Democrats – including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Silver – have called for Lopez to give up his Assembly seat, too. But he has refused to do so.
Seddio now appears to have locked up sufficient support to replace Lopez as leader – a position for which he must give up his own planned attempt for a return to elected office. (He was gearing up for a New York City Council run in 2013).
A number of critics – most recently, the Daily News editorial board – have suggested Seddio is too close to Lopez, and too much like him, to provide a true break from the past for the party.
Apparently, Camara disagrees. Here’s his statement in full:
“When the Kings County leader announced several weeks ago that he would not seek another term as County Leader, I believed that there was a real opportunity for change and a fresh start for the Democratic party here in Brooklyn. Under the right leadership, we could harmonize the discordant voices within our party, expand the decision making circle so that it represents the wisdom of the entire party, and reform the county rules in order to have a vibrant organization with transparency and accountability of action.”
“Since that time, many good Democrats and labor leaders – both inside and outside of Brooklyn – have urged me to run for County Leader. They believed that I could unify the party, make it more inclusive, and implement the reforms necessary so that the Kings County organization was the envy of other party organizations across the state.”
“While I am honored that so many people whom I respect and whose opinions I value would like me to run, I am confident that Frank Seddio, will work to establish the inclusive, unified and transparent Kings county political party that so many are yearning for.”
“Through a series of meetings and conversations with Frank I have heard firsthand his willingness to broaden the Kings county leadership team in a way that is unparalleled in recent Kings county history. That step alone is already unifying a party that had become Balkanized and distracted from its goal of electing good Democrats and being a progressive beacon for the state.”
“In addition, Kings County will now have real reform, including the elimination of party leadership controlled “at large district leaders”, increased party meetings to discuss the important issues of the moment, and full transparency and accountability on the party’s fiscal matters. Further, Frank and I served briefly in the state legislature together and, from knowing him for several years, I know that he has the exact people skills and passion we need.”
“I am confident that he will lead this county into an era of good will and good deeds. I look forward to being a part of the leadership team in Brooklyn to help make this happen.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on September 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm, and is filed under Brooklyn, Democrats. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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