News & Politics

Campaign Cash: ’09 No Shows


City Councilman Tony Avella made the papers this week by being the only person so far to file with the city Campaign Finance Board as a 2009 mayoral candidate.

Of course, Avella’s $10,805 isn’t really the only mayoral money on the table: Possible contenders like Comptroller William Thompson ($519,000), Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum ($148,325), and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion ($275,950) also filed with the CFB, but didn’t name what office they’re seeking. And while Assemblyman Jim Brennan ($154,515) and Councilman David Weprin ($362,413) have put in for comptroller, it’s easy to imagine that a citywide job might be intriguing to candidates like Brooklyn Beep Marty Markowitz and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who filed with the CFB but remain “undeclared.”

But what’s notable about the list of wannabes is who’s not there at all yet.

Congressman Anthony Weiner—who bowed out of the 2005 race when tallies showed him thisclose to a runoff with Freddy Ferrer—is widely expected to run for mayor, but hasn’t put in his papers yet. He has, however, spent more than half a million in the 2005-2006 for his re-election to Congress even though, according to FEC records at least, he does not have an opponent. Also missing from the 2009 roster so far is Eric Gioia, the councilman from Sunnyside who’s held a number of fundraisers in recent months, who cleared more than $200,000 from his walk-in-the-park re-election in 2005, and who is widely understood to want to be the next public advocate.

The wild card in the 2009 cycle is whether or not term limits will remain in place to chase most councilmembers from their seats. But assuming term limits remain, which is likely, one thing we know about candidates who’ve filed but are undeclared (including Bill de Blasio, Simcha Felder, Dominic Recchia from Brooklyn; Melinda Katz, John Liu, and Peter Vallone, Jr. from Queens; Oliver Koppell and Joel Rivera from the Bronx; and Michael McMahon from Staten Island) is that they will be looking to move up, perhaps to a borough presidency. Vallone is also interested in being district attorney some day.

Rookie councilmembers Jimmy Vacca from the Bronx and Jessica Lappin from the Upper East Side, who have also filed with the CFB, can seek to return to their seats in ’09. Three non-incumbents are also on the board for the next round of council races: Brian Gotlieb, a community activist and aide to Weiner who ran unsuccessfully for the seat Recchia won in 2001; Jo Anne Simon, a lawyer and Democratic district leader in Brooklyn; and Eric Ulrich, a youthful Queens Republican who writes a conservative column for a community weekly.

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