4:10 pm Feb. 28, 2013
The New York Hotel Trades Council has endorsed City Council candidate Mark Levine, who is running in the district that includes parts of Harlem, Washington Heights and the Upper West Side.
Among Levine's competitors in the Democratic primary for that seat is Zead Ramadan, a cafe owner and former community board member and head of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. His campaign is being run by the firm of veteran Democratic operative Bill Lynch.
Levine has been endorsed by a number of prominent local Democrats including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and State Senator Adriano Espaillat but local Democratic elected officials like Rep. Charlie Rangel, Assemblyman Keith Wright and outgoing Councilman Robert Jackson have yet to make endorsements.
The union also endorsed Assemblyman Micah Kellner in his bid for a City Council seat on Manhatan's East Side, which is being vacated by Jessica Lappin. Kellner is supported by nearly every elected official in the area. He is running against Ben Kallos, a lawyer and former aide to Mark Green and Democratic fund-raiser Bill Samuels.
And the union is supporting Antonio Reysno, who is the chief of staff to City Councilwoman Diana Reyna, in his bid for the seat that embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez is reportedly looking to win. Reysno has already been endorsed by City Council Speaker Christine Qunn and the teachers union.
The Hotel Trades Council is one of the more politically powerful unions in the city, thanks to the rising tourism industry and a sharp band of operatives who help direct the union's campaign activities.
CORRECTION: An earlier version mischaracterized State Senator Adriano Espaillat's position. He has endorsed Levine.