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Friday, January 23, 2009

On Your Mark … Special Election Campaign for BP Would Be Lightning Fast

No one knows if Adolfo Carrion is indeed going to Washington to work for the Obama Administration.

But the borough president seems fairly confident.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz ran into the borough president on Tuesday night in D.C. after the inauguration. “He seemed absolutely certain,” that he would be headed to D.C, Dinowitz said, adding, “I know as much as you do.”

So, let’s say Adolfo does get the call – and it would look pretty bad for him at this point if he didn’t - what happens then? When would the special election be?

Dinowitz, a key tactician in the recent County Committee leadership coup, laid out the details for me:

When/if Carrion resigns, within 3 days the mayor must announce the date of the special election. But he can’t just pick any day, since this is all governed by the City Charter. He has to call the election for the first Tuesday after 45 days have elapsed. It can be a week earlier or later if warranted, depending on whether the Tuesday falls on a problematic date like a religious holiday or even St. Patrick’s Day (which is on a Tuesday this year).

Then there’s a petitioning process that’s extremely compressed. To get on the ballot, candidates need to get 4,000 signatures from registered voters of any party (since there is no primary, this is essentially a nonpartisan election) in only 12 days. But with the inevitable ballot challenges, you need a cushion of many more signatures. 8,000 signatures would be a good number, Dinowitz said.

“It would be difficult for a candidate to do that without organized support,” Dinowitz said.

Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera and Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr. have said they’re running in a special election if Carrion heads south. If both do, then it will be a key test of the new Democratic machine, which took on Joel’s father, Jose Rivera, and deposed him as party chair. The new Democratic leader in the borough, Assemblyman Carl Heastie, told me it’s not a given that the party will endorse Diaz. Heastie says he’s consulting with other elected officials and district leaders, even though Diaz is a good friend and supporter of his. Still it seems unlikely that he’d tap someone who opposed his chairmanship than someone who brought him to the dance, so to speak.

I wrote an editorial about this in the most recent issue of the Norwood News, but we’re having technical difficulties uploading to our Web site. As soon as that’s resolved, I’ll post a link. Otherwise I'll just post it here.


  1. I'm glad that Carl Heastie is keeping an open mind...at least it seems like a fair process. But considering the options for Borough President...can anyone else please step up to the plate..because right now it seems like a choice of the lesser of two evils

  2. Vacca, Vacca, Vacca!!!!! or Dinowitz, Dinowitz, Dinowitz??? We need experience in Borough Hall, not ambition!!


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