Brooklyn was the real winner in this election cycle. Of the three citywide elected offices, two went to Brooklynites, indeed basically had to: the mayoral race was fought between two Kings County residents, and the Public Advocate Democratic primary was mainly between two Brooklynites as well, and no one expected the GOP candidate for Public Advocate to come close to winning. (Only the comptroller went to a Manhattanite, Scott Stringer, who defeated fellow Manhattanite Eliot Spitzer.) But that doesn’t mean that Brooklyn can have all the political power. Of the leading candidates for Christine Quinn’s replacement as City Council speaker, none are from Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Paper reports. But this could be a good thing!
There’s a schism between Brooklyn’s councilmembers: some caucus with the progressives, like Park Slope’s Brad Lander, and others, usually from points farther south, like Bensonhurst’s David Greenfield, align themselves with the borough’s official Democratic Party powers. Had one of these councilmembers entered the speaker race, it would have exposed this split, insiders told the paper. But now the Brooklyn delegation is free to unite as a solid force, thus leveraging its vote for key leadership positions in the new council. So, even if the new speaker doesn’t call Brooklyn home, he or she will only have gotten there thanks to the support of Brooklyn!
Also, given how many powerful offices Brooklynites now hold, it’s unlikely that representatives of Queens and the Bronx would have thrown more power our way, anyway.
Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart