Sharpton and Barron for Griffith
October 27th, 2009
The Rev. Al Sharpton and Councilmember Charles Barron delivered a message to central Brooklyn’s staple, Councilmember Al Vann, this morning: It’s not you. It’s them.
Sharpton and Barron went against the Democratic tradition of backing incumbents to endorse insurgent candidate Mark Winston Griffith, who lost the Democratic primary by 735 votes for a City Council seat in central Brooklyn and is continuing his candidacy on the Working Families Party line. Vann won the Democratic ticket with 30.7 percent of the vote.
Barron, who prides himself with swimming against New York’s political tide, said he stayed out of the race in the primary, because he is (or maybe was) friends with both candidates. “I was torn. I have two friends: Mark Griffith and Al Vann.”
“This is my way of dealing with a dilemma,” said Barron. “Vann had the primary, and now I want to support my friend in the general.”
The two officials said their support for Griffith should not be taken as an assault on Vann’s legacy. It is about bringing “change” and youth to the district.
“This is all about Mark,” said Sharpton. “This is not about Vann, about term limits. I’m not anti-Vann. I’m pro-Mark.”
Vann, who has served central Brooklyn in the State Legislature and the City Council for 35 years, was set to retire at the end of this term. But once the term limit extension was approved, which he also voted for, he decided to seek a third (and so-called final) one.
During the endorsement, Barron and Sharpton also speculated on next week’s contest, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg will face off against Comptroller Bill Thompson. Sharpton and Barron both support Thompson.
“The low turnout will hurt the mayor,” said Barron. “I think the mayor is afraid of a low turnout.”
Sharpton then quipped, “I arranged for the rain this Tuesday, not next Tuesday. So, I’ve done my part.”By Courtney Gross on October 27, 2009, 1:34 pm
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