Reporter’s Notebook: Stringer Coming on Strong

Mayoral Candidate Scott Stringer, left, campaigns on the streets of Flatbush in Brooklyn.
Photo by Stephen Witt

By Stephen Witt

When it comes to covering all the bases, Mayoral Candidate Scott Stringer is a political Derek Jeter.

Take last week’s endorsement from the far-left Working Families Party (WFP). It was a big payoff for spending the last two years wooing the progressive and Democratic Socialists of America starting endorsing Tiffany Caban over Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in the 2019 Queens District Attorney race.

Just as smart was Stringer’s use of the comptroller’s office to dole out key jobs. Some, like Michael Lambert from Queens and current Brooklyn city council candidate Josue Pierre, were based on merit. Lampert knows about business development as a former Business Improvement District head. Pierre has a solid accounting background.

But others laid the early groundwork for his mayoral run. There was City Council Candidate Ari Kagan to gain Stringer inroads into the city’s Russian Speaking community. Tommy Carroll, brother of Assemblymember Bobby Carroll, was another good hire. The Carrolls come from a long-established Irish political family with a reach from white Brownstone Brooklyn to Bay Ridge.

In Queens, Stringer hired Aja Meeks, daughter of U.S. Rep. and Queens County Chair Greg Meeks. Current City Council Candidate James Johnson was also hired to give Stringer more presence in the Black-American neighborhoods of Southeast Queens. And he also hired Pesach Osina who sits on the board of the Jewish Community Council and who nearly won the special council election in Far Rockaway.

Former Richmond County Democratic Party Chair Kevin Elkins also landed a job in the comptroller’s office to shore up the Staten Island vote.

And with two young children in the public school system, odds are pretty good he’ll get the United Federation of Teacher union endorsement, which is expected to come shortly.

Critics have called Stringer calculating, but that’s sour grapes. Politics is a game of strategy. You don’t get elected to the assembly then Manhattan Borough President and then the city Comptroller without knowing which strings to pull.

Stringer stays calm. He’s been there before He’s quoted as saying he’s a great finisher. 

He might just be right.

This story first appeared on our sister site, www.politicsny.com


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