* Ari Hoffnung has been named the new the deputy comptroller for public affairs in Comptroller John Liu‘s office – replacing Alan van Capelle, who announced he was leaving several months ago. Hoffnung had been overseeing policy in the office and now will be Liu’s chief advisor for policy, intergovernmental affairs, media and community relations. “Ari has been a consistent and constant driving force on some of our office’s highest priority initiatives over the past two years, and he’s proven to execute with precision,” Liu said in a statement. Before joining the comptroller’s office, Hoffnung served as chief staff for former Councilman Simcha Felder – who serves as deputy comptroller for accountancy and budget in Liu’s office. Hoffnung, though, does not come into the high-ranking job with as high a profile as van Capelle, the outspoken former head of the Empire State Pride Agenda.
* Make that five Democrats who are passing on runs against Long Island Republican Sen. Jack Martins. The most recent was Scott Reich, a lawyer at the prominent Manhattan firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, who was willing to put some of his own money into the race – an enticing prospect for the cash-starved Senate Democrats. But Reich confirmed that after meeting Sen. Mike Gianaris, chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, he decided not to run. “I’m not considering it at this point,” Reich said. The district, in its current form, has a slight Democratic registration advantage and the Democrats lost the seat by a mere 400 votes in 2010. Still, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth and Fran Reid, North Hempstead’s director of environmental planning, are all expected to also pass. A Senate Democratic spokesman declined to say whom they hope to back for the race.
*Councilman Charles Barron, in announcing his candidacy for New York’s 10th Congressional District yesterday, proved yet again that he knows his media audience well. Instead of shying away from recent controversies, Barron embraced them fully. During the speech, Barron pointed to the reporters in the crowd before announcing the most controversial statements, saying each time, “You’re gonna like this one.” These controversies included re-announcing support for his personal heroes Muammar Gaddafi and Robert Mugabe, as well as his broader opposition to Israeli foreign policy. Barron’s campaign currently looks to be on a collision course with incumbent Congressman Ed Towns and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries.
CITY & STATE FIRST READ is our morning email roundup of New York politics and government. Every day before 7 a.m. we deliver daily exclusives from City Hall and The Capitol, a curated summary of the day’s headlines, editorials, schedules and milestones – and short tidbits like the “Heard Around Town” items below.
Not getting City & State First Read each morning? Click here to subscribe.
Trackback from your site.