Outgoing City Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis) has decided to run for his brother’s soon-to-be-vacant state Assembly seat as one possible contender, Glen Oaks Village President Bob Friedrich, is mulling his options.
Assemblyman Mark Weprin’s (D-Little Neck) seat will open once he is installed in the City Council Jan. 1, taking his brother’s seat.
Gov. David Paterson has to set a date for a special election to fill Mark Weprin’s Assembly seat. He is expected to call for the contest in February.
David Weprin said he made the decision to run for his brother’s seat last Thursday and he has the support of the district’s four Democratic district leaders who are key to getting on the ballot: himself, his brother Mark, Honey Miller and Martha Taylor.
“This is an opportunity for me to contribute to the public. People have been coming over to me to stay in public service,” he said in a phone interview Monday.
Weprin said state Senate President Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) tried to recruit him to run against state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), who won a tight election a year ago against City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows).
Meanwhile, Friedrich, who launched a failed bid for the Council this year, said he is “strongly considering running.”
“The Republicans, they have offered me the line in the special election. It’s the only way voters get a choice,” said Friedrich, who lost this year’s Democratic primary and was defeated again running on the Republican line for the November contest.
Friedrich alluded to the possible seat swap as a case of dynasty politics. Mark Weprin won a special election for his Assembly seat following the death of his father, Assembly Speaker Saul Weprin, in 1994.
“The name ‘Weprin,’ that’s not a reason for someone to hold public office,” he said. “It should be based on community service. To me, this is nothing more than musical chairs.”
But Weprin said he was not running on his last name alone, although he said he was not running away from it either.
Voters “shouldn’t vote for me because my name is Weprin,” he said. “They should vote for me because I’ve been a good councilman for the last eight years.”
While not officially declaring his candidacy for the seat, Friedrich took the time to criticize David Weprin.
“I think David’s constituent services have left a lot to be desired,” he said, claiming he did not get calls back from him on matters pertaining to Glen Oaks Village. “I think David has a lot of vulnerability.”
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2009 Community News Group
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