Republican operative Bob Capano confirmed rumors that he would attempt to unseat incumbent Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), formally opening his campaign last Wednesday.
Capano — a one-time staffer to scandal-scarred former Rep. Vito Fossella (R–Bay Ridge) as well as Borough President Markowitz — told The Brooklyn Paper that he’ll campaign on three issues:
• supporting the continuation and expansion of youth programs by “getting a YMCA or other youth center built.”
• ensuring that seniors “have access to the services and programs.”
• fighting to make sure that small business “survive and thrive.”
Capano claimed he is better in touch with Ridge residents than the Gentile, who won the seat in 2003.
“Our community needs a councilman who understands the life and struggles of hardworking residents,” said Capano, who has worked as a grocery store manager, a professor, and leader of the Brooklyn Young Republicans and the 68th Precinct Youth Council.
Capano also claimed that his rival has made things worse by frequently criticizing Mayor Bloomberg’s policies.
“All our councilmember knows how to do is antagonize this mayor,” said Capano, who last fall was blown out by 40 percentage points by Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D–Bay Ridge), but landed 53 percent of the vote in Bay Ridge.
But winning Bay Ridge won’t be as easy this time, as the one-time conservative stronghold has swayed towards Democrats with the re-election of Gentile in 2007 and last year’s election of Rep. Mike McMahon (D–Bay Ridge).
A spokesperson for the Gentile campaign said, “Councilman Gentile has a proven record of delivering for his district. He secured millions for public schools, found sites for new school construction, and fought for the delivery of homeowners’ $400 rebate checks. He has done all this while defending his constituents from the mayor’s attempts to increase property taxes, add tolls and extend term limits. [It] sounds like Capano supports tolls.”
Capano dismissed that.
“The things he said opposed passed anyway, ” said Capano.