By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
After Sept. 19, the era of Vito Lopez as chairman of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn will be over, although Lopez almost certainly will be re-elected as assemblyman.
There will be two back-to-back meetings at Kingsborough Community College that evening: the first of the Brooklyn Democratic Committee, which is comprised of several hundred members; and the other of the Executive Committee, meaning the district leaders and several at-large members.
It is the second group that will choose Lopez’ successor.
Three people are pursuing the position of leader. One, considered the favorite by many observers, is Frank Seddio, a former assemblyman and county surrogate judge and current lawyer in private practice.
He is also past president of the powerful Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club in Canarsie, and is known, among other things, for the elaborate Christmas displays on his lawn every year.
Seddio has the backing of Borough President Marty Markowitz, who said, “Frank embraces the diversity of Brooklyn like I do, and among his greatest assets is the ability to work with everyone, being open and responsive to fresh ideas, and having the `steady hand’ to reform and reinvigorate the Kings County Democratic Committee.”
A second candidate, Jo Anne Simon, is well known to political observers in Downtown Brooklyn and Boerum Hill. She is a former president of the Boerum Hill Association, a current district leader, and is well known for her work as a disability-rights lawyer.
Several years ago, she was one of seven candidates in a primary race to represent the 33rd City Council district, a race that was won by Brad Lander. On her website, she has called Lopez an “out-of-control sexual predator” and has demanded that he resign from the Assembly.
The third, Assemblyman Karim Camara, is the successor in the Assembly to disgraced Brooklyn Democratic Chair Clarence Norman, whom Lopez succeeded.
Camara, who is the chair of the Assembly’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus, is also a pastor.
The yearly meeting usually has taken place in Downtown Brooklyn, but this year Lopez, who is still in control of the county’s Democrats, moved it to the remote Manhattan Beach campus. Critics have cried foul, saying this will make it inconvenient for many members to attend.