Quinn endorses Cohen for Council


Council Speaker Christine Quinn came to Kingsbridge today to endorse Andrew Cohen for City Council District 11, which she called “a very important council seat.”

She noted that his work on Community Board 8, with Friends of Van Cortlandt Park and as a lawyer were all good credentials for the job. 

“One, Andy and I have been friends for a long time. Two, I think it’s really important on the council that councilmembers are people who understand the connection between direct constituent service, direct community work, community boards, advocacy work and larger legislation work,” she said. 

When asked why she preferred Mr. Cohen over the other candidates — Cliff Stanton and Cheryl “Shelley” Keeling are also vying for the position — Ms. Quinn admitted that she did not know much about them, including their names. 

“I don’t know all their names because I think Andy rises so far above the rest, it’s not particularly an issue for me, " she said. "Look, sometimes you go shopping so to speak, and the first dress you see that’s it. And other times you have to look and look and look. Once you see the best you don’t have to keep looking and that’s the case in my opinion in this seat.”

She added that the other candidates had little to do with the decision, saying she didn’t know that she “could have considered anybody else.” 

Ms. Quinn said she knows Mr. Cohen primarily through their mutual friend Christine McLaughlin.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, along with District Leaders Randi Martos and Bruce Feld, were present. Mr. Dinowitz prompted Mr. Cohen to speak before the group dispersed. 

“I have a lot of respect for the speaker. Her leadership is something I hope to emulate in bringing people together, finding a consensus and middle ground and I hope that’s something that, like I said, I hope to emulate and that I can bring to the council if elected,” Mr. Cohen said.

Ms. Quinn also took the opportunity to introduce herself to people chowing down at the Louis Dale Diner on West 231st Street and Broadway, where the endorsement took place. 

Councilmember Oliver Koppell, who currently holds the District 11 seat, was conspicuously missing from the gathering.  

“I didn’t even know about this endorsement meeting today,” he said when he learned of it. “I wasn’t invited.”

He speculated that he was left out because of a perceived “adversarial” relationship with Ms. Quinn.