Recchia quits NYC comptroller race

Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr. (D-Bensonhurst-Gravesend-Coney Island) stunned the political world on Tuesday by announcing that he won’t run for city comptroller in 2013. Recchia, who is term limited in the council, had reportedly been mulling a run for comptroller for the past several months.

“After months of consideration and conversations with my family, friends, and colleagues, I have decided not to run for Comptroller in 2013,” Recchia said.

Recchia, chairman of the council’s finance committee, was seen by many in the Democratic Party and in city politics as a natural for the comptroller’s job. The comptroller is charged with the responsibility of handling the city’s finances. The job is currently held by former councilman John Liu. Liu’s campaign finances are under federal investigation, according to the New York Times.

Recchia threw his support behind Scott Stringer in the race for comptroller, immediately endorsing the Manhattan borough president.

Recchia cited Hurricane Sandy as his reason for bowing out of the race. The Coney Island portion of his council district sustained massive damage as a result of the super-storm, he said, adding that he plans to dedicate his remaining time in office to assisting in the recovery and rebuilding effort.

“Although as chair of the city council’s finance committee I remain dedicated to maintaining our City’s fiscal health, in the wake of the storm, my energy, focus, and heart are in Brooklyn,” Recchia said.

In 2009, Recchia successfully spearheaded a plan to rezone Coney Island to revive the beachfront community. After years of negotiations, Recchia said he secured jobs and affordable housing for residents in the rezoning plan while also protecting the famous attractions that make Coney Island an entertainment destination.

With his announcement, Recchia sent a signal, however, that his political career will not necessarily end when his council term is over at the end of 2013.

He acknowledged that he is still considering his options for the future. At one time, he was rumored to be considering a run for Brooklyn borough president

He will work to see that Stringer is elected comptroller, he said. “Scott and I have known each other for many years and I know him to be a dedicated public servant with a strong record of accomplishments. His knowledge and many years of experience in government will allow him to make significant contributions to the future of our city as the next comptroller,” Recchia said.

Recchia, who represents the 47th Council District, was first elected in November of 2001. The city’s term limits law prevents him from seeking another term in the council.