Seddio Tells District Leaders It’s Your Call On District Attorney Race

Eric Gonzalez (1)
Kings County Democratic Party Chair Frank Seddio

Kings County Democratic Party Boss Frank Seddio last week told the borough’s 42 Democratic district leaders, also known as the executive committee, that the county’s Party will not make an official endorsement in the upcoming District Attorney race this year, and all the district leaders are free to back whomever they want.

Seddio’s edict came at an executive committee meeting that female District Leader Nancy Tong, of the 47th Assembly District hosted in celebration of the Chinese New Year at the Ho Wong Chinese Restaurant, 6720 Bay Parkway (at 67th Street) in Bay Ridge.

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Thus far in the running are interim District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who the late DA Ken Thompson picked to lead the office just days before dying last October, and former assistant district attorneys Anne Swern, Mark Fliedner, Pat Gatling and Ama Dwimoh. Additionally, there is talk that term-limited City Council Member Vincent Gentile will enter the race.

“The different leaders want to do different things. Each district is its own entity on these things such as in the 52 Assembly District where Anne Swern is the also the district leader. Nobody feels pressure and I haven’t made my own decision who to support yet,” said Seddio.

Seddio said he told all the district leaders that county would bind the petitions of all the district leaders to make sure they have the right paper work in order to submit to the Board of Elections, whomever the district leaders put on their petitions for district attorney.

The only exception to this is that there are three countywide civil court judicial seats open this year, including three incumbents, and all potential judicial candidates must go before the Democratic Party’s screening committee in May. Once the party selects the three candidates they will endorse, all the district leaders must have them on their petitions for the party to do the paper work for them, Seddio said.

Of the DA candidates, Gonzalez has to be considered the early frontrunner on the strength of his incumbency and the fact he raised in excess of $800,000 in the first state campaign finance filing period reported last month.

Pat Gatling

Meanwhile, Gatling last week rolled out the endorsement of former Mayor David Dinkins, who he’s known from her years of work as an ADA and as the City’s Human Rights Commissioner under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“I have known her [Gatling] for a long time, and she has always been an innovative reformer who created programs and agency models that resonated throughout New York City and our entire country,” said Dinkins. “She was responsible for creating and implementing the ComALERT program, which I strongly supported, and which to this day gives support to people 18 years old and older who are transitioning from incarceration to reentering society in Brooklyn.”

While the Dinkins endorsement is nice, a well-connected source in Brooklyn’s Jewish community, said that the religious part of this diverse community would never support Gatling stemming from a 2014 case, when as human right commissioner, Gatling had a brouhaha against the Satmar sect in Williamsburg for putting dress code signs in their shop windows.

Swern, although not formally backed by Seddio, is thought to be one of his favorite district leaders, and shouldn’t have a problem raising money for the race. However, she could be hurt by Fliedner’s candidacy as both will look for white voters from the borough’s brownstone belt as their base.

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