Robert Jackson says facing Lappin, Brewer and Menin for borough president ‘would be fantastic’

Robert Jackson (Azi Paybarah via flickr)
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City Councilman Robert Jackson of Harlem likes his chances of becoming the next Manhattan borough president. 

A number of credible Democrats are considering entering the race, or have already declared: City Council members Jessica Lappin of the East Side and Gale Brewer of the West Side and Julie Menin, who chairs a community board in lower Manhattan and lives in Tribecca [corrected].

Before he walked into a fund-raiser at Coogan's on 169th 181st and Broadway on Friday night, I asked Jackson to game out a primary in which all of them ran.

"If that's the case, all you have to do is do the math," said Jackson, who would be the only African-American in the field, the only male, and the only candidate from upper Manhattan. "When I say 'do the math, you know what I'm talking about."

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He said, "Everyone, naturally, no matter who's in the race is going to cater to their base. That's normal."

He also said there are different ways to look at the concept of a base: "From a programatic point of view ... Jessica Lappin chairs the aging committee. Gale, government operations. I chair education. So, when you look at it, those are big constituencies. Education, as you know, goes across all geographical areas, goes across all ages and all of that."

"So, if you do the math," he said, "ideally, that would be fantastic if that was the case."

He made another point about the prospective field of candidates.

"People looking at it objectively would say that I have an edge because, if that's the case, I'm the only male," he said. "There's three females. I'm the only person of color. The rest of them are not. Geographically, you know everyone is going to pull on their core constituency. With Gale, with Jessica, with Julie Menin downtown."

Jackson's advantage, he pointed out, is that he would be the only candidate who lives above 96th Street. 

But he took pains to emphasize that he was didn't mean any of his analysis as a negative commentary about any of his prospective opponents.

"I say stay positive. Run your best race. Do the best you can," he said, sounding upbeat. "I try to stay just focused like that. I have nothing negative to say about any of them."