By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
There is plenty of news happening in the race for the City Council’s 43rd District in Brooklyn this week, as challenger John Quaglione announced a high-profile endorsement and incumbent Vincent Gentile threw his hat into the contest to become the next council speaker.
Quaglione, a Republican-Conservative, announced on Sept. 25 that he has been endorsed by former governor George Pataki. Quaglione said the endorsement came after he met with Pataki and discussed issues facing the southwest Brooklyn council district. The 43rd Council District covers Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and includes parts of Bensonhurst.
“It means a lot to know that Governor Pataki understands the agenda I have put forth in this campaign and has decided to endorse me for City Council. Governor Pataki was a great governor who, in a similar way as I will when elected, focused efforts on quality of life, public safety, support for education and small business assistance,” Quaglione said.
“The governor has offered to help out as this campaign continues and I look forward to having him at my side as I continue to bring my message to the voters,” Quaglione said.
Meanwhile, Gentile, a Democrat running for his third term in office, has let it be know that he would be interested in succeeding Christine Quinn as council speaker.
Gentile, who has been in the council for a decade, confirmed to Crain’s New York Business that he’s interested in the job.
"I think it's time for an outer-borough candidate to be speaker, and I'm someone who's already been around for two speakers," Gentile told Crain’s. He also told the publication that he has had positive talks with Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman Frank Seddio about ascending to the speakership.
Gentile is the latest council member whose name has been mentioned as a possible council speaker. Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Bronx Councilman James Vacca, and Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams have all been mentioned as candidates for the all-powerful post.
Gentile, who is term-limited and could only serve one more term if he wins in November, would be the most senior member of the council in terms of longevity.
Under one scenario outlined by a Democratic Party insider who spoke to Crain’s, Gentile would become speaker for one term, then clear the way for Councilman David Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-parts of Bensonhurst) to succeed him in 2017.