Still Has Not Decided Which Office to Run For
By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
When thinking about which of the famous politicians Arthur Aidala reminded him of, Alan Dershowitz deemed the selection obvious — former New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, who is widely regarded as one of the best mayors in the history of the U.S.
"Why not?" Dershowitz asked rhetorically. "He was irascible, energetic, charismatic and he appealed across political lines ... This man has all of the political talent that is required to go all the way. He is brilliant, he is charming, he is energetic, he has a fantastic wife, two gorgeous children, wonderful parents and a great family ... He is going places.”
Now Aidala just has to figure out exactly where he is going.
The immediate past president of the Brooklyn Bar Association knows that he is going to run for office, but he’s still trying to figure out if that office will be locally in Brooklyn, citywide or even statewide. Aidala, who ran for City Council as a Democrat in 1997 and lost in the primary by just 108 votes, hasn’t even decided if he’s going to run as a Democrat or a Republican.
“I haven’t ruled anything out. However, the type of political committee that I formed basically enables me to run for Brooklyn district attorney or New York state attorney general,” Aidala said. “It all depends on the field — who is in it, how much money they have and whether there is a feasible road to victory.”
One thing is for certain: He has the backing of many of his longtime friends and colleagues in the Brooklyn legal community. Aidala packed more than 400 people into the Liberty Warehouse in Red Hook on Monday night, his first fundraiser for “Aidala for New York,” where Dershowitz introduced him. Suggested donations to get in the door that night ranged from $500–$25,000.
“He has to decide what he wants to run for and where he wants to run,” Dershowitz said. “I think all of us in this room are here to tell Arthur Aidala that no matter what you run for, which party you run in and who you run against, we are here for you. We will support you, we will love you, we will push you and you will prevail. So, I now give you the next fill-in-the-blank — Arthur Aidala.”
In the last few weeks, Aidala has seemed to suggest that he was eyeing the New York state attorney general’s seat, but on Monday night he spoke mostly of the Brooklyn district attorney’s office and called the position a lifelong dream of his.
“There are a lot of ideas of what offices I should run for,” Aidala said. “One of those offices is the office of the Brooklyn district attorney. I don't think it's a surprise to anyone in here. That's something that was a lifelong dream, is a lifelong dream. It is something that I am still considering. I haven't ruled anything out.”
He seemed genuinely unsure which position he would ultimately target, and said that his goal is to help people — more people than he’s been able to help as a defense attorney.
“Those times when we got those results for individuals, the feeling of pride and joy of knowing what it feels like to save a life is a feeling, to me, that is much more rewarding than any other financial gain or fame or anything like that,” Aidala said. “What I'd like to do is to just do that on a bigger platform. So instead of doing it one at a time, maybe I'm the lawyer for the county, maybe I'm the lawyer for the city and maybe even I'm the lawyer for the state of New York.”