Fresh off a trip upstate to buy a high capacity assault rifle, Brooklyn Democratic State Sen. Eric Adams made a somewhat politically risky move this afternoon: The presumed frontrunner in the 2013 Brooklyn borough president’s race showed up at Brooklyn Brooklyn Hall to endorse district leader Lincoln Restler.
Restler, of course, is a primary thorn in the side of Brooklyn Democratic Leader Vito Lopez, whose leadership style has often been characterized by an “ either you’re with me or against me” mentality. So it was a bit surprising to see Adams, no regular opponent of Lopez, on hand for Restler.
After the press conference, Adams, who surely would like to run with Lopez’s backing in 2013, was asked whether he was poking Lopez in the eye with the endorsement.
“I’m not poking anybody in the eye,” Adams said. “I’m looking for the best representative. This is not about Vito Lopez, this is about the district leader, Lincoln Restler.”
“I can’t speak for Vito,” Adams added, explaining that he had not discussed the move with the Brooklyn Democratic leader, and had been impressed by Restler’s work. “Lincoln called me for endorsement. I said, “Sure, I’ll endorse you.’”
Adams added that he planned to endorse the re-election campaign of State Sen. Martin Dilan, a close Lopez ally, whose opponent, Jason Otano ,was standing on the steps of borough hall with Adams today. Adams also supported Councilman Erik Martin Dilan over Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez in their congressional primary.
“If you look at my endorsements, you will see a streak of independence-y,” Adams explained. “That’s what I believe Vito would want, I think that’s what Lincoln would want. I think that’s what everybody wants.”
Lopez did not yet return a request for comment about whether Adams’ endorsement is, in fact, what he wants.
One longtime Restler ally not present at the endorsement event today was Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who is set to assume a central Brooklyn seat in Congress in January. Jeffries had the backing of both Lopez and Restler’s club, the New Kings Democrats, during his recent congressional primary.
A spokeswoman for Jeffries did not immediately return a request for comment about why the assemblyman did not attend today’s event.
Jeffries’ spokeswoman Lupe Todd emailed a statement: “The assemblyman will make a series of endorsements in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.”
Trackback from your site.