And the battle is officially on. Three of ten Democratic Town Committee Districts will face off in March 1 primaries covering the West Side, East Side and Upper East Side that will feature three slates, according to elections officials. Absentee ballots, key in these low-turnout party wars, will be available this week. The top vote producers make up the 90-member DTC that endorse candidates for public office and selects a chairman.
The West Side battle in the 132nd District pits veteran political operatives with some new faces. Former City Council President Lisa Parziale has assembled a slate of nine against long-time district leader Mike Freddino and incumbent City Council members Evette Brantley and John Olson.
Joining Parziale on the slate, Public Facilities Director John Ricci, school board member Howard Gardner, former City Council member Bob Halstead, Carol Cocco, Gabrielle Parisi, Gail Santini, Jessica Materna and Oyiboka Benson.
Anthony Lancia, Elaine Pivirotto, Rolanda Smith, Vernon Thompson Jr, Reggie Walker and Marcus Brown round out the Freddino slate.
On the East Side, where primaries are sporting events, the 137th District has quite a fight brewing. Of course, they tend to fight and smooch depending on the day. Veteran pols Maria Valle, Juan Hernandez and Vidal Agosto have formed a slate against long-time establishment operatives Gil Hernandez, City Clerk Lydia Martinez and City Council member Aidee Nieves. The latter slate also includes education advocate Jessica Martinez, Joel Rosario, Teresa Davidson, Maria Hernandez, Anderson Ayala and Alreta Taylor. Rosa Franco, Grisel Seda, Noel Sepulveda, Tageldin Banaga, Guillermo Marin and Jacqueline Richardson fill out the Valle-Agosto slate.
The Upper East Side 138th District has three slates, with 27 candidates, on tap. School board member Maria Pereira has forged a slate of insurgents: Michelle Fox, Angel Figueroa, Eric Alicea, Dolores Fonseca, Rafael Fonseca, Helen Losak, Andrea White and Erris Roy Allen. They are challenging a slate led by City Council members Anthony Paoletto, Nessah Smith as well as Martha Santiago, Kelly Perez, Sonia Belardo, Ty Bird, Kevin Monks, Robert Curwen Jr. and James Morton.
A third slate is also competing led by former city councilor and school board member Leticia Colon and activist Charles Hare. Jose Ramos, Lee Roy Owens, Samia Suliman, Sonia Kirkland, Martha Gil, Marybel Torres and Alfonso Rodriguez round out that slate.
This is not winner slate take all. The top nine vote producers are elected to the DTC.