Brooklyn – Election Returns Show Eroding Public Influence of Dem Boss Lopez
by Yossi Gestetner
May 10, 2012
NY Assemblyman and Brooklyn Dem Party Boss Vito Lopez is still in a powerful position; strong enough to force his hands onto others. However, an analysis by Gestetner Updates shows that Lopez is increasingly becoming less of a player in electoral outcomes on his home turf, thus threatening his power among elected officials and beyond.
Whether it was Lopez backing Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Primary vs. Obama, whether it was inner party Primary battles that cover Williamsburg and other areas in Brooklyn, Lopez is losing elections all over. This goes without saying that Lopez didn’t have a good showing in the Weprin-Turner NY9 House seat, and also not much success in the State Senate Special Elections between Democrat Fidler and Republican Storobin. The Lopez losses are broad and deep. Consider some elections results:
- 2008 Dem Prez Primary: Home-state U.S. Senator and Lopez-backed Clinton won 134,900 votes in Brooklyn, to Obama who won 172,034 votes. This is a 44-56 percent loss for the Lopez candidate.
- September 2009 Dem Primary to the NYS Senate: Lopez-backed Martin Connor won 5,119 votes to Denial Squadron who won 5,640 votes. This is a 48-52 percent loss for the Lopez candidate.
- September 2009 NYC Dem Council Primary in the center of Lopez’s Assembly district: Lopez-Backed Maritza Davila won 3,705 votes, and Diana Reyna won 3,865 votes. Another anti-Lopez candidate pulled in more than 1,000 votes. All in all, Lopez’s candidate won only 43% in his own front yard.
- September 2010 Dem Primary for key District Leader in Brooklyn: Lopez-Backed Warren Cohn won 3,601 votes while political new–comer and insurgent Lincoln Restler won 3,722 votes. This is a 49-51 loss for the Lopez Candidate.
- And of course, in September 2011, Democrat David Weprin won only 7,739 votes versus Bob Turner in Brooklyn. It was less than 34% of the 22K-plus votes cast in Brooklyn during that election.
The next major showdown is late June in NY12 where Lopez is backing Councilman Erik Martin Dilan, the Primary opponent of Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez. The Hasidim in the district, mostly registered as Democrats, are split in two: The “Zaloynim” who are in-line with Lopez will likely vote for Dilan, while the “Aroynim” (headquartered in Upstate) yet with thousands of followers in Williamsburg, will vote for Velazquez. Unaffiliated Hasidim are likely to join Velazquez with the calculation that to vote for a sitting Congresswoman has a larger chance of success than to vote for the surrogate of someone whose influence among the public is eroding.