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Seddio: Last man standing in Democratic leader race

As most observers expected, former Assemblyman Frank Seddio was chosen Wednesday night as the new chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, replacing embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

In the weeks leading up to the vote, many Brooklyn reformers who had opposed Lopez’s rule also were skeptical about Seddio, noting his past association with Lopez and fearing that Lopez would still be pulling the strings.

Now, however, most are willing to give Seddio a chance -- because Seddio himself committed to reforms within the party.

Those who had always supported Seddio, of course, congratulated him.

Borough President Marty Markowitz said, “Frank Seddio is a lifelong Democrat and a hard-working public servant who we all can respect. He has proven himself as a police officer, a judge, an assemblyman, a district leader, a community board chair and as a family man.”

Even before the vote, District Leader Jo Anne Simon, widely regarded as the reform candidate, withdrew from the race.

After negotiations, she said, Seddio agreed to several reform measures, such as eliminating the at-large delegates to the convention that she contends that Lopez appointed “to stack the deck.”

Now, she says, the party’s Executive Committee will only be made up of the district leaders themselves.

Assemblyman Karim Camara, a third candidate, also took himself out of contention the afternoon before the vote and gave his support to Seddio.

Matthew Cowherd of the New Kings Democrats, who had strongly opposed Lopez’ leadership well before the current Albany sex scandal, told the Eagle, “This isn’t about a particular person, it’s about the paradigm of reform. If Frank Seddio is willing to work with us, we’re willing to work with him.”

In addition to serving as assemblyman, Seddio once held the post of Kings County surrogate judge. He is now an attorney in private practice. In addition to his legal activities, he is well known for the lavish Christmas display he puts on outside his house in Canarsie every year.

Seddio didn’t return emails from the Eagle, and there was no answer at his law-office phone.

September 21, 2012 - 5:20am


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