Jo Anne Simon, Democratic District Leader for the 52nd AD, announced in an email to her constituents this evening that she will not challenge Steve Levin for D33 city council seat. Simon was a candidate in the 2009 race which featured a cast of colorful candidates.
Simon is a long time outspoken critic of scandal plagued former Brooklyn Democratic boss and NYS Assemblymember Vito Lopez. Levin, a former chief of staff for Lopez, has called him a “friend and mentor”.
On the subject of the council seat, Simon writes:
This year will be a pivotal one for Brooklyn Democrats. With Vito Lopez out as party leader we have a new opportunity for Brooklyn to be not just the largest Democratic organization in the country, but also the most progressive.
As a Democratic District Leader, and now also as 1st vice-chair of the Kings County Democratic County Committee and co-chair of the Rules Committee, I’m focusing on reforming the party rules and bringing about the changes that are sorely needed.
This year will also see elections for Mayor, city council and other municipal offices. Make no mistake about it, these elections are as important as the national elections last November. Many friends and supporters have asked me if will be a candidate for city council. It’s a question I’ve spent much time considering. I am grateful to my family, friends and supporters who have encouraged me to be a candidate.
It’s no secret that I feel the 33rd Council District deserves independent representation. Once the lines are finalized I am confident we can find the best candidate for this newly redrawn seat. But I will not be among those seeking the nomination for City Council. Instead I will continue concentrating my time on making the promise of reforms a reality in Brooklyn politics.