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The NY-13 Race: The Gnats say “No”

Well, that didn’t take long:
Another councilman declines challenge against congressman

Saying he wants to focus on local and citywide issues, City Councilman Vincent Gentile yesterday officially announced that he would not run against Rep. Vito Fossella in 2006.

Gentile was the second councilman in two days to decline a run against the incumbent. On Monday, North Shore member Michael McMahon said he wouldn’t campaign for the Republican’s congressional seat.

I’m not surprised. They were fatally flawed potential opponents that Vito could have sliced and diced with an ease that was apparent to me when their names were floated last week.

But this bit is comedy gold:

Gentile’s announcement that he would not challenge Fossella (Staten Island/Brooklyn) was not unexpected.

It came a day before a congressional screening panel is expected to recommend that the Democratic Party back Brooklyn attorney Stephen Harrison in the race.

Who the fuck is “Brooklyn attorney Stephen Harrison”?

I mean, I pay attention to these things, and I’ve never even heard of the guy until his name popped up in this article, and the hack who wrote the piece offers no reasoning that this “congressional steering panel” (whoever the hell they are) is using to recommend the guy for this race. Off to Google we go ….

Okay, so he’s a former(?) Brooklyn CB10 chairman who has twice tried–and failed–in attempts to score a Brooklyn City Council seat:

43rd: Incumbent Vinny Gentile and fellow Democrat Steve Harrison both filed, as did Republicans Stephen M. Maresca and Pasqualino “Pat” Russo. Harrison, the Community Board 10 chairman who ran in the February special election and lost badly, reportedly filed just to keep his options open. But as one legislator told us, if it’s June and you’re still “keeping your options open,” it’s already too late to mount a serious campaign. [emphasis mine]

A stroll through’s archives offered up a bunch of references that, taken in total, makes Harrison seem just your run of the mill Brooklyn Dem political gadfly…who has never amounted to jack shit campaigning outside of his own neighbordhood community board’s confines.

Staten Island Democrat chairman John Lavelle:

Lavelle said the screening panel would present its recommendation to the Democratic executive committee tonight in the Central Family Life Center in Stapleton.

Lavelle said he didn’t know whether the executive committee would then immediately vote to endorse a candidate. “We’ll play it by ear,” he said.

For God’s sake, Lavelle, is this the best the Staten Island Democrat Party and your crack “steering panel” can come up with? Someone who has gone down in flames–twice–trying to score a a shitty City Council gig, and you’re even toying with the idea of running him for a Congressional seat in a borough where no one’s even heard of him before? Last time out, with Frank Barbaro, your party put up a guy with a track record. If you think Staten Island voters will give this guy any time you are out of your mind.

Running Harrison will bring new meaning to “sacrificial lamb.” It’ll be a bloodbath, with Vito winning in a landslide on both sides of the Narrows.

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