Rep. Dan Donovan kicked off his reelection campaign with a show of multi-party support Saturday. The Staten Island Republican hosted the state chairmen of the Republican and Conservative parties, the Staten Island chairman of the Reform Party and the Brooklyn chairman of the Conservative Party. (The Staten Island Republican chairman did not attend, but sent a message that he was home with the flu.) Rep. Peter King, NYS Senator Marty Golden, NYS Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis, NYC Council Member Joe Borelli and former Rep. Vito Fossella attended and spoke at the rally. Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo and NYC Council Member Steve Matteo did not attend, but sent messages of support.
Donovan faces a jumbled and contentious primary against his predecessor, former Rep. Michael Grimm. Grimm resigned in early 2015 after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion, and served seven months in federal prison. Donovan was selected by Republican leaders as the party’s nominee in the resulting May 2015 special election, defeating Democratic Council Member Vinnie Gentile, and was elected to a full term in November 2016. Continue reading Donovan Reelection Kickoff→
Deceased NYPD Detective Steven McDonald was memorialized on the one year anniversary of his death with a plaque at the NYPD’s Central Park Precinct. As a patrolman assigned to Central Park McDonald was shot and grievously wounded in 1986, surviving but rendered quadriplegic. He nonetheless remained actively involved with the NYPD for the rest of life, deeply admired for his tenacity and optimistic outlook.
Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Lin-Manuel Miranda for a Three Kings Day celebration. With the annual Three Kings Day parade cancelled due to bitter cold, de Blasio moved to a small indoor celebration hosted by the Hispanic Society.
Newly elected Council Speaker Corey Johnson visited the Rev. Al Sharpton Saturday, joining Sharpton for his weekly rally and radio broadcast at the National Action Network. Council Members Jumaane Williams and Robert Cornegy also appeared.
Sharpton expressed disappointment that none of the African-American candidates for speaker succeeded, but nonetheless gave Johnson a warm welcome. Underpinning that welcome was Johnson’s active support and campaigning for Sharpton in his 2004 presidential campaign.
Council Member Corey Johnson became Council Speaker Corey Johnson, drawing nearly unanimous support after besting rivals in the informal process preceding the vote. Receiving the support of Congressman and Queens County Democratic Chairman Joe Crowley appeared to seal the speakership for Johnson ahead of the vote and that expectation came to fruition Wednesday with Johnson receiving 48 of the 49 votes cast.
In remarks on the floor during the Council Charter session Council Member Inez Barron offered herself as an alternative speaker candidate, harshly criticizing the absence of any black speaker among the four people who’ve held the position and the continuation of that reality with the selection of Johnson. While drawing supportive remarks from several of her colleagues Barron did not draw any of their votes. He spoke movingly of his mother and their close relationship, embracing her just after his election.
Johnson was warmly praised by many of his colleagues who noted both his professional accomplishments and his personal journey. First coming to public attention as a high school football player who revealed himself as gay, and now H.I.V. positive, Johnson has also openly shared his past substance abuse struggles.
New York City’s three citywide elected officials were sworn in to second terms Monday, with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer taking their oaths in front of City Hall on a bitterly cold afternoon. All three were reelected to a second and final term in November, with term limits precluding 2021 reelection bids. They’re able to run for each others offices however, with James and Stringer widely seen as contemplating mayoral runs.