Thursday, November 15, 2007

Farrell Considers Life After Albany. Perhaps the Council?


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November 15, 2007, 12:29 pm

Farrell Considers Life After Albany. Perhaps the Council?
By Jonathan P. Hicks

His candidacy may not be official yet. But anyone who has a campaign fund-raising event at Tavern on the Green offers fairly conclusive evidence that he is serious about running.

In this case, Herman D. Farrell Jr., the longtime assemblyman and head of the Manhattan Democratic Party, has made it more or less official that he is preparing to run for a City Council seat in 2009.In an interview, Mr. Farrell said that he has set up “an exploratory committee” to run for the City Council seat now held by Robert Jackson, a Manhattan Democrat who is barred by the city’s term-limit laws from running for re-election. And he had a $500-a-person event at Tavern on the Green last week.

Herman D. Farrell Jr.
(Photo: Suzanne Plunkett/Associated Press)

What would make Mr. Farrell, who was first elected to the Assembly in 1970, want to leave Albany after all these years?

“I have a 2½-year-old daughter. and I would like to spend more time with her than the six months of the year that I currently spend,” Mr. Farrell said. “But in 2009, there will be a vacancy, and I will still be able to work for the people of this community. I can still continue to fight for improved education and for things that need to be done environmentally.”

Mr. Farrell would undoubtedly go into that Upper Manhattan Council race as the favorite. He is a well-known political figure, a onetime state chairman of the Democratic Party and a 1985 candidate for mayor.

Of course, Mr. Farrell made it clear that he is not too eager to highlight his aspirations to serve in the Council yet. Mr. Jackson will not leave the Council until after the 2009 election, and Mr. Farrell faces re-election to his Assembly seat in 2008.

So, what will become of Mr. Jackson, once he leaves the Council?

For some time, many Manhattan Democrats expected that Mr. Jackson would run for the Assembly seat held by Mr. Farrell. After all, the two have had a close political relationship for some time. In fact, the two men have both been active in a northern Manhattan political club.

Mr. Farrell was the chief political cheerleader of Mr. Jackson’s 2001 successful Council campaign.

Instead, Mr. Jackson said, he has other plans. “Right now, I’ve filed for a citywide office,” Mr. Jackson said. “I’m looking for public advocate.”

That would place him in competition for the Democratic nomination against his colleague, City Councilman Eric N. Gioia of Queens. Others who are considering running for that office are City Councilman John C. Liu and the civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel.

The other issue affecting Mr. Jackson’s plans is whether the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, decides to run for public advocate in 2009. Mr. Stringer, who was elected in 2005, is considered “off cycle,” meaning that he would have to compete for higher office against an incumbent elected in 2009.

And Mr. Jackson indicated that he might consider running for Manhattan borough president, if Mr. Stringer decides to run for public advocate. (Mr. Stringer has maintained that he is focused on his work as borough president and has not been commenting about his political plans.)

There seems to be a full plate of political considerations for Mr. Jackson. “There is a lot to consider,” Mr. Jackson said. “But if all else fails, I suppose I would run for the Assembly seat.”

6 comments so far...

1. November 15th,20072:15 pm
Why not? Another lunatic self-servant would fit right in.
— Posted by ed

2. November 15th,20073:08 pm
Why doesn’t this Assemblyman get a job in the private sector? He’s already had too much opportunity spending other people’s money. Maybe now he can earn some of his own honestly.
— Posted by Pete in Michigan

3. November 15th,20074:56 pm
I am a Republican that understands the reason HDF is planning to switch jobs…..MONEY!!!!

1. The City Council pays $112,500 per year, plus stipends for leadership positions. HDF will likley make 10k a year extra from this. Over two terms, HDF will then gross $1,000,000 for his “service” on the NYCC. Not bad. Let’s say it slowley:

2. There is no restriction on outside income. HDF can earn as much money as he wishes from outside employment.

3. No commute to Albany…now its just a train ride downtown.
Republican Staten Island Councilman Vincent Ignizio left the State Assembly earlier this year to run for the CC.
— Posted by Businessman

4. November 15th,20075:09 pm
A man of his apparent age should spend as much time with his 2 1/2 year old daughter as possible.

Barring Reincarnation life has a term limit, too!
— Posted by Perley J. Thibodeau

5. November 15th,20075:10 pm
This is an example of New York politics at its worst! This Council seat should be for a leader with fresh ideas who is ready to work energetically and creatively on behalf of the district, not someone who has been in office for 35 years and just wants to shorten their commute.
— Posted by Jeffrey

6. November 15th,20076:26 pm
Roberto Jackson rep Harlem in Albany is one scary thought. Has anyone tried getting a response currently in his district office in Harlem. I wonder if he will bring all his hacks from one office to the other.
— Posted by Harlem

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