This is the first of a series of articles on the Bronx City Council races. There are currently six candidates who have announced they are running in the 11th Council District, and I have divided them into two categories. There are the first three candidates (in order of announcement) Dan Padernacht, Eric Dinowitz, and Jessica Haller, who announced their candidacy first in 2018 or 2019. Three more candidates Abigail Martin, Dionel Then, and Marcus Sierra have announced this year.
Candidate Dan Padernacht has been the Chair of Community Board 8, and is now the board's Chair of the Traffic and Transportation Committee once again. He is also Vice-Chair of the important Land Use Committee, as Community Board 8 is the only Bronx community board with a Special Nature Area and a Historic District. Being a lawyer by profession, Dan has represented the board at hearings before the City Planning Commission and Board of Standards and Appeals. Dan has also served as Chair of the Croton Water Filtration Committee. He has served on Community Board 8 for over twelve years representing all parts of Community Board 8.
Candidate Eric Dinowitz is the Chair of Community Board 8's Aging Committee, and the Democratic Male District Leader from the 81st Assembly District. He is a Special Education teacher by profession, and is the son of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. While the election will be Rank Choice Voting Candidate Eric Dinowitz when asked if he will win the election outright, answered that he will win with a majority of the votes. With six candidates currently in the race a majority of the vote does not mean an outright win and not having to go into Rank Choice Voting.
Candidate Jessica Haller is a mother of four children ranging in age from seven to one attending college. She is a first time candidate running on a Climatology and Sustainability platform, and is a graduate of Donald Trump's Alumnus The Wharton School. Of the top three candidates she is the only one to sign on to the Defund the Police Movement. When questioned about it, she said it was the original plan not the one that it has evolved into. While she wants to be an advocate for the needy public school children, her children currently attend private school. Candidate Jessica Haller lives in the limited access section of Riverdale called Fieldston that closes its entry points every year.
The next three candidates include Abigail Martin who is taking pot shots at one of her opponents father the assemblyman, and mentions State Senator Biaggi's name so one would think that the state senator is backing her. She also aims her comments at Mayor de Blasio. Next is Dionel Then who was an intern at the Riverdale Press. His website stresses jobs for youth, and that he has worked for various elected officials, but none are listed. The sixth and final candidate for the 11th council district Marcos Sierra comes off a win in the race for Male District Leader in the 80th Assembly District. However the 80th A.D. is mainly in the 13th council district, and only a small part of the 11th council district. Sierra beat the organization candidate, and while 80th Assemblywoman Fernandez is holding events, her new district leaders have not been mentioned in the announcements of the events.
Update: Candidate Dionel Then has withdrawn from the 11th City Council race and is endorsing candidate Dan Padernacht.
Since Councilman Cohen has been nominated as one of the Democratic choices for a Supreme Court Judgeship his seat should be vacated on January first since he has repeatedly said that he will serve out the year. Mayor de Blasio will have three days to call a special election that would occur within eighty days. In speaking to Assemblyman Dinowitz he says that is the law, and he expects a March Special Election. However since the state legislature moved up primary day to June, petitioning begins the last week of February for the June Primary. It is highly unlikely because of that, a special election would occur while petitioning begins for the primary election. That would hold true in the 15th council district when Councilman Ritchie Torres becomes Congressman Torres at the beginning of January.