Yesterday’s New York Times looks at the special elections in Manhattan and Long Island to replace convicted felons Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos and finds a key difference: no potential Skelos successor is willing to stick up for him, while the Democratic candidate to replace Silver has called him a “hero” and dismisses his conviction on federal corruption charges as something “in his private life.”
It’s a sign that Silver’s reputation as a defender of the community — in particular, a reliable supplier of state funds to local charities and public projects — may withstand the revelations that he was eager to leverage his office for personal profit.In fact, Silver is still able to influence old friends and allies from the Grand Street establishment by advocating for the woman who would succeed him, Alice Cancel, the Democratic nominee in the April 19 special election. The Times quoted a source from the Truman Democratic Club (headquartered above Frank’s bike shop) who says that Silver and his chief of staff Judy Rapfogel (an East River cooperator) personally appealed to Democratic delegates to vote for Cancel. Cancel was selected overwhelmingly at a meeting of the local Democratic committee two weeks ago. Cancel will have two opponents in the April 19 election: Democrat Yuh-Line Niou, running on the Working Families line, and Republican Lester Cheng. Because of our district’s high percentage of registered Democrats, most people expect Silver’s candidate, Cancel, to win.