Assemblyman Peter Abbate Jr. (Bensonhurst/Sunset Park) quacked like a candidate, preened like a duck, and according to Coney Island Female Democratic District Leader Delia Schack, announced last night he is running for the vacant 43rd District City Council seat this year.
Term-limited City Councilman Vincent Gentile currently holds the seat which includes the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.
Abbate showed up and participated in Schack’s candidate’s forum for the seat last night at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1305 86th Street in Dyker Heights. Also participating were announced Democratic candidates Justin Brannan and Kevin Peter Carroll.
“He [Abbate] said he was running and that with all the things going with the presidency, Democrats need to come out, and not take things lightly. Of the three candidates, I think he was the best one,” said Schack.
Abbate did not return phone calls at post time.
Curiously absent from the forum was announced candidate and female Democratic District Leader of the 47th Assembly District Nancy Tong. According to her male counterpart as the Democratic District Leader, Charlie Ragusa, Schack didn’t invite Tong.
“She [Schack] threw Nancy under the bus. She wants her daughter to get the Democratic nod to be Civil Court Judge and she’ll do anything to make that happen,” said Ragusa. “Nancy has got to toughen up in this race. These people are vicious.”
Schack responded she did invite Tong, both through emails and phone calls, and she just failed to show up. But Tong said she received only one communication from Schack and that was a voicemail invite at 5:30 p.m. yesterday, just hours before the forum, and she worked until 8 p.m.
“I was never informed about this. She [Schack] should have told me. Why was I not invited? I’m a candidate like everyone else. For what reason she did that I don’t know,” said Tong.
Schack’s next candidates forum also promises to be riveting. It will feature candidates from both the 47th and 48th City Council districts.
The 47th District race will feature incumbent City Councilman Marke Tryeger (D-Coney Island/Bensonhurst/Gravesend) against Warren Chan, a longtime nemesis. Chan insists that at this time he has no plans to run against Treyger.
The 48th District race will feature incumbent City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay/Manhattan Beach/Brighton Beach) against community activist and Democratic operative Kalman Yeger, Schack said.
Schack’s statement that Yeger will participate in the forum adds fuel to the strong rumor that Yeger, who has strong ties to City Councilman David Greenfield (D-Borough Park/Bensonhurst /Flatbush) will indeed challenge his cousin, Deutsch, in what promises to be something of an orthodox Jewish political death match.
The forum is slated for 7 p.m., March 16 at St. Paul’s Church, on West 8th Street and Neptune Avenue in Coney Island.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.