The Kings County Democratic Party is expected to officially endorse State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for governor this week, according to party sources. The endorsement is expected to come February 16, (after this paper goes to press) following a meeting of party district leaders at the Progressive Democratic Club, 29 Bay 25th Street. Spitzer was invited to speak at the meeting and was expected to attend at press time. Thus far, Spitzer is the only Democratic candidate declared to be running for governor. However, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi has been exploring entering the race and has been fundraising for the effort. I know that Suozzi has outreached to folks (Democratic District Leaders) in southern Brooklyn, but the folks in southern Brooklyn are all pretty much united behind Eliot and the feeling I get is they are all looking for Eliot to be our standard bearer, said one political source. I think he [Spitzer] has wide support in the black, Latino and Orthodox Jewish communities and I dont see Suozzi making any inroads in the city, the source added. Another political source said after Spitzers expected presentation at the meeting there is a very good likelihood that the organization will vote to endorse him. Suozzi is not yet an official candidate and hasnt asked us to endorse him, and he might want to run outside the party organization, whereas Spitzer asked to meet with the Brooklyn Democratic Party for the past six weeks, said a party source. This is the first opportunity he has to meet with us and he has been aggressive with the request, and we will honor that request, the source added. Kings County Democratic boss Vito Lopez, who recently replaced convicted former Assemblymember Clarence Norman as the party chair, said the endorsement comes partly because there is only a couple of months before the April State nominating convention. By Suozzi not taking an official position [on running], most organizations have met the last couple of months and endorsed the only candidate who requested such an endorsement, said Lopez. However, Suozzi spokesperson Kim Devlin noted a major issue in the race is New York State governance reform and questioned whether Spitzers ties to the state establishments will hinder reform. There is no doubt that Eliot Spitzer will get most if not all of the endorsements of the Democratic establishment organizations and many special interest groups. The question, and what voters may well wonder about, is what strings come attached with those endorsements? said Devlin. And, more importantly, can a governor truly be a strong independent voice for reform and do whats necessary to fix Albany when he would owe his election in large part to a collection of special interest groups, she added. Devlin said what New York needs is not the same old political game-playing, but a new leadership that is focused on bringing accountability back to Albany and finding workable solutions to the serious problems that are squeezing the states middle class. Thats the kind of reform and results Tom Suozzi delivered for Nassau County, and the same will be true for all of New York if he decides to run for governor, she said. Spitzers campaign did not return several phone calls at press time regarding this story.
©2006 Community News Group
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