Former City Councilman big “Mojo” Ralph Mojica, a regular OIB contributor, announced in a post he’s seriously considering running for his old legislative seat that includes the South End, Downtown and West End. We are entering a sleepy municipal election cycle that includes seats for City Council and Board of Education in 2013. The mayor has a four-year term. The council two-year terms. What council members are in trouble?
“Trouble” is relative. Depends on the opposition. Mojica, for one, has an independent streak that doesn’t always sit well with District Leader Mitch Robles. Mojica served on the council during the John Fabrizi mayoral years and was defeated in a primary supporting State Rep. Chris Caruso’s 2007 primary challenge against Bill Finch. This district is currently represented by Denese Taylor-Moye, resident of Marina Village, and a vacancy waiting to be filled by the council as a result of the resignation of Leticia Colon who serves on the Board of Education.
The 137th District that covers the heavily Latino East Side is one place to watch, the land of Lydia Martinez, the city’s queen of absentee ballots. When it comes to politics the East Side is a delightful soap opera, kiss one day, fight the next, kiss and make up again. Ya just never know when the smooch of political death is coming. Lydia and State Rep. Andres Ayala had fought for years, but Lydia (at the party convention, at least) pledged her support for Andres for State Senate, a seat he won knocking out incumbent Ed Gomes. Andres’ cousin Christina Ayala won his State House seat that had been occupied by Lydia prior to Andre.
Tito Ayala, Christina’s papa, won control of the East Side in a district town committee primary last year. This helps big time when endorsing candidates for district office. Will Lydia have a primary?
Several council members such as Council President Tom McCarthy and Black Rock Councilwomen Sue Brannelly supported the November ballot question in which voters rejected mayoral appointment of school board seats. Doesn’t mean they’re vulnerable to “stripping voter rights.” Both are active in their respective neighborhoods, providing strong constituent services. Presidential elections are a different world from local council battles where a premium is placed on direct knowledge of council members.
Bob Curwen, veteran councilman from the Upper East Side, has been quiet lately. He rankled operatives of Mayor Bill Finch, supporters of Andres Ayala, by casting the deciding vote at last May’s Democratic Party convention that gave the endorsement to former State Senator Ernie Newton seeking his old seat. Apparently this was payback by Curwen against Ayala who defeated him for council president nine years ago. Talk about a long memory! City pols don’t keep score, do they?
East End council members Andre Baker and James Holloway worked actively against the ballot question.
Incumbent City Council members, all Democrats, are listed below. Primaries will take place next September.
City Council members
130th District, Marty McCarthy, Sue Brannelly
131th District, Dense Taylor-Moye (plus vacancy to fill Leticia Colon spot)
132th District, John Olson, Evette Brantley
133th District Tom McCarthy, Howard Austin
134th District, Michelle Lyons, AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia
135th District, Warren Blunt, Richard Bonney
136th District, Angel DePara, Carlos Silva
137th District, Lydia Martinez, Manny Ayala
138th District, Richard Paoletto, Bob Curwen
139th District, James Holloway, Andre Baker