Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of July 7, 2016

Arthur Schwartz is out of the running for Assembly, but he’s still sticking by his man Bernie Sanders.

Schwartz pulls out: Fresh off snagging the endorsement of former Public Advocate Mark Green, Village District Leader Arthur Schwartz has decided to throw in the towel in his challenge to Assemblymember Deborah Glick in the Lower West Side’s 66th District. It wasn’t because he didn’t think he had a chance in a September primary face-off with Glick, who, as the first openly gay member of the New York State Legislature, is admittedly an icon in the gay community. And it wasn’t that he lost heart for the race. Rather, it was his actual heart. Schwartz underwent bypass surgery 10 years ago that saw four new arteries created for his pumper. At that time, he was running an upstart challenge to State Committeeman Larry Moss, who had all the political endorsements. Schwartz bravely decided to stay in the race and pulled off a huge upset win, earning a reputation as a formidable campaigner. (He always said his direct mailers and ads in The Villager touting his community accomplishments were a key to his victory.) But that race was really only a few months. This one against the veteran assemblymember has been a slog and it’s been pretty vicious, Schwartz said. (Of course, Glick will say Schwartz was the one slinging mud.) He noted he and a group of college-age volunteers were out petitioning in Abingdon Square recently for signatures to get him on the ballot when a pack of Glick supporters jumped right in front of them and starting chanting for her. “For an hour it was pleasant,” Schwartz said. “Then a horde of young men, wearing Glick T-shirts, brazenly stood in front of my crew yodeling, ‘Glick for Assembly. Sign here!’ I withdrew, and asked one of my volunteers, who wanted to get into a fight, to back off. As I left, I felt my blood pressure rise. For the rest of that week, I would awake each morning with a knot in my stomach and a tightening in my chest.”

Deborah Glick now has an open path to re-election. But Hillary Clinton — who Glick is supporting for president — though cleared by the F.B.I. of criminal charges in Servergate, is facing Donald Trump. Plus, that pesky Bernie Sanders is still hanging around!

Anyway, as he wrote in The Villager in 2006 in a talking point, explaining why he had resolved — while recuperating from heart surgery — to continue with his campaign against Moss, Schwartz always was worried about his heart health because his father, a physician, died of cardiac disease at a relatively young age. He said he was feeling it lately and went to see his cardiologist. He had a stress test and was strongly advised to “slow down.” In short, he’s been having “serious heart issues.” He recently found himself crying at his 10-year-old daughter’s graduation — because he feared he might not be around to see her grow up into a woman. Schwartz penned a column in a monthly Village newspaper that he writes for, saying why he was dropping out — but not without getting in some choice digs at Glick. Her supporters brought the column to Glick’s attention — apparently, she doesn’t subscribe — and she was not happy to see the attacks, plus suspicious that Schwartz really was dropping out. “Arthur says he is withdrawing from the primary, though he continues his very negative attacks on me, even as he alleges he’s withdrawing,” Glick told us a few days ago. “I believe nothing until there are no ballot petition signatures filed on his behalf. My campaign continues full-speed ahead. I have enjoyed incredible support from people as we’ve been out petitioning, and a wide range of endorsements. I was always confident of winning. And I believe that, if in fact Arthur withdraws, it will be because he recognized the overwhelming support that I have in this community despite his incredibly negative and misleading attacks on me. Nothing is over until there are no petition signatures filed for Arthur or anyone else in the 66th Assembly District other than my petitions.” Well, it definitely does sound to us like Schwartz really is dropping out of the contest. But he is still actively involved in the Bernie Sanders campaign…movement…whatever we should call it at this point. “I am still a delegate for Bernie,” Schwartz said. “I am still counsel to the Sanders campaign in New York. I am still one of the leaders of the Sanders delegation in New York. I do not think he will get the nomination, but he is fighting hard over several platform planks, and believes that he has support for some of his positions — like anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership — from Hillary Clinton delegates. I plan on continuing to criticize Glick monthly in Westview: one issue per month. … All that will change is that I will not file to be on the ballot. I will run for re-election as district leader next year.”