By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The campaigns for City Council seats in Brooklyn districts are starting to get serious, as political hopefuls with no chance of winning a primary face reality, drop out, and throw their support behind candidates they had been running against.
Last month, Andrew Sullivan, a construction supervisor with Tea party ties who had been planning to run in a Republican Primary against John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden, in the 43rd Council District in Bay Ridge, announced that he was opting out. Instead, Sullivan said he would run as a Republican in the 47th Council District in Coney Island, a move that gave Quaglione the GOP nomination.
In another race, Michael Treybich, a lawyer and civic activist, officially notified the city’s Campaign Finance Board that he was suspending his campaign for the Democratic Primary in the 48th Council (Sheepshead Bay-Brighton Beach) and immediately announced his endorsement of former rival Ari Kagan, an aide to City Comptroller John Liu.
In a show of unity, the two men recently held a press conference together to announce the endorsement.
“Ari Kagan has the experience working in government and in our community to step in and do the job on day one,” Treybich said. “This district is incredibly diverse, and Ari Kagan is the only candidate in this race who has a track record of bringing diverse communities together to tackle community problems,” he said.
Kagan happily accepted the endorsement and heaped praise on Treybich. “I have known Michael for 13 years, and in that time he has served our community with distinction, both as a community activist and as a prominent attorney. The better I get to know Michael the more impressed I am with how hard he works for our neighborhoods. I look forward to continuing working with him in the years to come on important issues impacting southern Brooklyn,” Kagan said.
Treybich’s decision to drop out leaves Igor Oberman, Chaim Deutsch, Theresa Scavo and Kagan fighting it out for the Democratic Party’s nomination. The likely Republican candidate is former state senator David Storobin.
The 48th Council District, currently represented by term-limited Michael Nelson, a Democrat, encompasses several communities in southern Brooklyn including Brighton Beach, Trump Village, Sheepshead Bay, Homecrest, Midwood, and Manhattan Beach.
Kagan is the Democratic district leader in the 45th Assembly District and has worked in the past for former congressman Michael McMahon when McMahon represented the 13th Congressional District (Brooklyn-Staten Island). Kagan is also the vice president of the Holocaust Memorial Committee in Brooklyn.