2:02 pm Jun. 25, 20121
You don't need much more than the Times headline to get the narrative gist of the race: "The Biggest Rival for a Congresswoman from Brooklyn Isn't Even on the Ballot." (Or, earlier, from our own Reid Pillifant: "At long last, a Brooklyn boss goes for the knockout against Nydia Velazquez.")
Brooklyn Democratic County Leader Vito Lopez is an undeniably powerful force in New York politics, and his bid to unseat Rep. Nydia Velazquez, through Councilman Erik Dilan's congressional candidacy, is a direct test of that clout.
Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillbrand, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Governor Andrew Cuomo all endorsed Velazquez in the primary, demonstrating that they would rather cross a local county leader than abandon a scandal-free, reliable Democratic colleague.
If Dilan loses, the story will be that it's a big defeat for Lopez. Which, it's worth remembering, is nothing he hasn't endured before.