Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Handicapping Race to Replace Vacca

DeBlasio Plays Santa Claus with NYCHA

(AWKWARD- Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj at an event with potential City Council challenger John Doyle who is on the far left.)

By Robert Press

POLITICS- The person most people thought would be in the 13th city council district race announced that he would indeed be a candidate in next year’s 13th city council race. That person being curent Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj of the 80th Assembly District. 

I think Assemblyman Gjonaj now comes into this race as the favorite, but that alone will not make him Councilman Mark Gjonaj. However Mark Gjonaj is used to working hard as an elected official, and as a candidate. Four years ago when everyone but this reporter said that Gjonaj's opponent would win the assembly race, Mark Gjonaj became the new assemblyman from the 80th A.D. 

It is too early to call the 13th City Council race as there are four other current candidates for the Democratic primary thought to be the only race to win which are: Community Board 10 Vice-Chair John Marano, Mr. John Doyle, Mr. Alex Gomez, and 82nd A.D. Female District Leader Marjorie Velazquez Lynch. As of the last Campaign Finance Board filings candidate John Doyle leads with the most funds raised. Not far behind is candidate John Marano, candidate Alex Gomez lags next, while candidates Marjorie Velazquez Lynch and Mark Gjonaj have not raised any funds as of the CFB report. In the endorsement department, the current 13th Councilman James Vacca has endorsed candidate Marjorie Velazquez Lynch the wife of the councilman's former Chief of Staff who now works for the NYCDOT. Candidate Mark Gjonaj has the endorsement of State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and many community leaders throughout the council district. How the 13th council race will go, and if there are any other candidates that will enter the Democratic primary is not known yet. It is expected local businessman John Cerini will run on the Republican line. 

In other news check my blog at to see photos of the Bronx Democratic County Committee holiday party, some of the many Christmas tree lightings in the borough, and a report on how Mayor Bill de Blasio has teamed up with cell phone giant T-Mobile to provide 500 free tablets to some families living in NYCHA houses. I said to the mayor at the press conference that it is a great idea, but why is it that families have to wait over five years to get much needed appliances like stoves and refrigerators. The mayor answered that NYCHA needs EIGHTEEN BILLION DOLLARS to fix all the problems and the federal government has not done its share. I take that as a prelude to asking the incoming president for the monies which the current president has not provided to New York City. Also at the press conference the mayor refused to answer any questions of campaign finances that are surfacing, and he bolted after the room after the third reporter in a row stayed on the subject.

Happy Holidays to all. 

If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail me at 100percentbronxnews@gmail or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.