In his first public comments since speculation began about his intentions, Dilan said he wasn’t concerned about the shortened time frame for filing petitions and raising money for a run.
“I’m considering all my options for the future, in the public and private sector,” Dilan told our Chris Bragg, who was on hand to question Dilan after Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s State of the City speech today.” And I will say yes, that is one of the options I am actively considering.”
Asked why he would challenge Velazquez, who has represented her district in Brooklyn for 19 years, Dilan said he would reveal his reasons when the time was right.
“I have my reasons right now, but they are internal,” he said. “We’ll be developing and laying out a public rational in time. But right now, I’m in the early stages at this point.”
Dilan has close ties with Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez, who is an antagonist to Velazquez and other self-styled reformers in the Brooklyn Democratic party. A fundraiser invitation recently surfaced that seemed to indicate Dilan was seriously exploring a primary challenge against Velazquez.
Assemblyman Raphael Espinal, Dilan’s former chief of staff, was also at Quinn’s speech today. He told Chris that his successful election last year over two other candidates for an Assembly seat held by Darryl Towns, an ally to Velazquez, may have given Dilan the boost he needs to challenge the congresswoman.
“I believe my race put Erik in a strong position,” Espinal said. “It’s something I think he’s been wanting to do. I’m not sure what his final plans will be. But I wish him the best, and I do believe my race may have made him stronger.”
“I believe he has a 75 percent chance of winning this race,” Espinal added.
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