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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Three’s a party?

Noelia Alvarez a Spuyten Duyvil resident affected by constant power outages, speaks at a press conference, on Nov. 30, urging Con Edison to bury power lines in the neighborhood.

There’s still a chance that Community Board 8 member and local attorney Dan Padernacht will jump into the District 11 City Council race, but he said recently there’s no way he will make any announcement before the new year.

“It’s still an option, but I haven’t decided yet,” he said.

Two Democratic candidates have announced that they will run for the seat currently held by termed-out Councilman Oliver Koppell. Local businessman Cliff Stanton announced his candidacy in January and Community Board 8 member Andrew Cohen announced his on Nov. 20.

Mr. Cohen, a member of the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club, has already been endorsed by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Rep. Eliot Engel, state Sen. Jeff Klein and Mr. Koppell.

Mr. Stanton has said he’s running as an anti-political establishment — namely the Ben Franklin Reform Club — candidate. He said political grudges have kept good ideas from benefiting the community.

If Mr. Padernacht were to jump into the race, it’d be an interesting twist. Like Mr. Cohen, he’s also a member of the Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club and of CB 8. Unlike either of the announced candidates, he’s run for office before.

In 2010, he dropped out at the last minute of the state Senate District 33 race between then-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and challenger Gustavo Rivera, though his name appeared on the ballot. At the time, Mr. Padernahct was receiving significant pressure from people who wanted to rally around Mr. Rivera in order to defeat Mr. Espada. Mr. Dinowitz asked Mr. Padernacht to bow out months before the primary.

Many politicos suspected Mr. Padernacht cut a deal with local electeds for their backing in the City Council race. It seems they were wrong. 

Mr. Dinowitz said he sat down with Mr. Padernacht to discuss a possible Padernacht run in recent months, but that the decision to endorse Mr. Cohen was made jointly with Mr. Koppell, Mr. Engel and Mr. Klein.

“The endorsement of Andrew Cohen by the elected officials was not a decision of any one individual but rather all of the individuals involved in making the endorsement,” Mr. Dinowitz said.

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