2:31 pm Nov. 19, 20121
Assemblyman Vito Lopez recently said he's reassessing whether to return to the New York State Assembly, where he was stripped of his seniority and commitee chairmanship after a series of sexual harassment complaints from former staffers.
One theory is that Lopez could run for the City Council, representing the Bushwick neighborhood where he won re-election to the Assembly by a wide margin earlier this month, despite the lingering allegations.
The Lopez for Council theory got a boost following changes proposed by the Districting Commission, which redrew all 51 of the City Council districts. According to the New York Post, Lopez's home is now in the same district as term-limited Council member Diana Reyna, whom Lopez has tried unseating for years.
While you don't have to live in the district to campaign for the seat, the change in district lines there caused some to speculate on a possible quid pro quo between Quinn, who is running for mayor next year, and Lopez, who still presides over a formidable political and social services empire. Here's how a Post article today explained it:
"The redistricting could help elect the alleged lecher to the City Council. In return, Quinn would curry favor with what’s left of Lopez’s Brooklyn political machine for her mayoral campaign."
Quinn's aides denied that theory. As a follow up, I asked Quinn's campaign if she would actively oppose a Lopez candidacy.
"I will campaign day and night to keep this serial sexual harrasser from entering the City Council," Quinn said through a spokesperson.