Race to fill City Council seat tightens ahead of special election as Bronx candidates battle for Seabrook seat

Posted by on October 13, 2012 in News | 0 comments

Race to fill City Council seat tightens ahead of special election as Bronx candidates battle for Seabrook seat

The crowded race to fill the City Council seat vacated by disgraced Bronx  politician Larry  Seabrook is tightening up with under a month before the special election, recent filings show.

Meanwhile, the north Bronx contest could become a test case for new city  campaign finance rules established in response to the “super PAC” trend in  national politics. The next filing date is Oct. 25 and could include the  disclosure of independent spending.

The Nov. 6 election will be the first subject to the new city rules, which  require individuals and interest groups such as unions to reveal their political  expenditures.

Party-backed Democrat Andy  King has extended his fundraising lead, according to campaign finance  statements submitted last Friday. But two other candidates have raised more than  $10,000 and a third is taking a hard line against “stop-and-frisk,” the  controversial policing strategy criticized for targeting minorities.

Neville Mitchell is a candidate for City Council District 12.

“Stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional,” said Neville Mitchell, a criminal  defense lawyer who has represented family members of police shooting victims  Sean Bell and Ramarley Graham. “I will do everything in my power to make sure  stop-and-frisk, as currently practiced, comes to an end.”

Six candidates will appear on the nonpartisan ballot: King, Mitchell, Pamela  Johnson, Joseph Nwachukwu, Cheryl Simmons-Oliver and Garth Marchant. District 12  includes Wakefield, Williamsbridge, Baychester, Eastchester, Edenwald and Co-op  City.

The seat is empty because Seabrook was convicted of mail fraud, wire fraud  and conspiracy in July for steering $1.5 million in public money to shady  nonprofit organizations he controlled.

King, who unsuccessfully challenged Seabrook in 2009, has raised $28,371.  The ex-union organizer has received 379 contributions, including over 50 from  people affiliated with 1199 SEIU, the healthcare workers union.

Top King contributors also include 32BJ SEIU, the building workers union,  state Assemblyman Carl Heastie, chairman of the Bronx Democratic County  Committee, and City Councilman James Vacca (D-East Bronx).

Simmons-Oliver has raised $16,391. But the policy analyst for Rep. Jose  Serrano (D-South Bronx) has outspent King 3-to-1, racking up $47,741 in bills.  She owes $26,000 to campaign manager Jerry Williams, a veteran political  operative.

Nwachukwu, a city social worker and Anglican pastor who moved into the  district from Soundview about five months ago, has raised $13,044. He owes 2/3  to contributors from outside the city, including fellow members of the Nigerian  diaspora.

“Members of my church and members of the community asked me to run because  they believe in me,” he said. “They trust me to bring integrity to the  community.”

Mitchell, a Jamaican immigrant who grew up in Olinville, has raised $4,306,  including more than $2,000 from his own pocket.

Nwachukwu and Mitchell believe District 12 needs more police officers and  youth programs to stem drug and gang problems.

dbeekman@nydailynews.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/bronx-candidates-battle-convicted-pol-seabrook-seat-article-1.1181226#ixzz29KpUWHBK

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