Sen. Bill Perkins, whose outspokenness has so angered some fellow Democrats and charter school advocates that they’re shopping for a primary challenger to run against him, will formally kick off his campaign this Sunday.


The event at Gran Piatto d’Oro on Fifth Avenue is a combination announcement/fundraiser and birthday party, according to an invite that landed in my in-box earlier today. Tickets are going for $100 (friend) to $5,000 (sponsor) a head.

Perkins holds the Harlem seat that used to belong to Gov. David Paterson, which is why his call for the governor not to seek re-election and step down if, in fact, allegations that he had meddled in David Johnson’s domestic violence case were true, were all the more potent – and hurtful, in the eyes of Paterson’s allies.

Those same allies (read: protectors of the old Democratic Harlem power base) have been none too pleased with Perkins’ flirting with a potential primary challenge to another veteran Democratic lawmaker: Rep. Charlie Rangel.

(Apparently, they aren’t concerned by Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV’s challenge to Rangel, which he formally announced Monday).

As I wrote recently in my DN column, a number of names have been floated as potential Perkins challengers, including: Brian Benjamin, Rodney Capel, Larry Scott Blackmon and Basil Smikle. But so far no one has come forward. (I’ve also been told since then that at least one of that trio doesn’t live in the district).

Charter school advocates who haven’t been pleased by Perkins claim that they have “opened the doors to an insidious form of segregation” and is holding hearings (the first is on April 22) are also down with the idea of backing a primary challenger against him.