1:30 pm Oct. 28, 20113
Former congressman Anthony Weiner was at 250 Broadway this morning. It's the building across the street from City Hall where many city and state lawmakers have offices.
According to a source who was there, Weiner had an impromptu meeting with City Councilman Vincent Gentile at around 10:45 a.m., when the two bumped into each other in the lobby of the building. In the course of the conversation, the source said, Weiner encouraged Gentile, a Democrat, to run for Congress.
A spokeswoman for Weiner declined to comment.
It's unclear whether Weiner was stating his preference for who he'd like to see as a challenger to freshman Republican member Michael Grimm of the 13th congressional district, or simply encouraging Gentile to consider vying for the nomination. (Or, of course, whether he was simply being polite.)
Weiner has kept a low public profile since his errant twittering and subsequent resignation attracted national and internation media attention earlier this year.
Gentile has said he's considering challenging Grimm, but that, like other Democrats, he'll likely decide after legislative lines are redrawn for next year's elections.
The 13th congressional district currently includes all of Staten Island and portions of Brooklyn. It overlaps significantly with Gentile's Council district, which is entirely in Brooklyn, and his old State Senate district, which was in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Other Democrats eyeing the race include the one-term Democratic congressman Grimm ousted in 2010, Michael McMahon; City Councilwoman Debbie Rose, the only Democratic Council member from Staten Island's three-person delegation; "political novice" Alex Borgognone; and Mark Murphy, the son of a former congressman from the borough who now works for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.