September 16, 2009 / Brooklyn news / Politics / Election Coverage

In the 33rd District: Levin, party boss’s pick, wins handily over six rivals

The Brooklyn Paper
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Steve Levin: 5,199 (33.7%)
Jo Anne Simon: 3,109 (20.2%)

Isaac Abraham: 1,937 (12.56%)

Evan Thies: 1,915 (12.4%)

Ken Diamondstone: 1,324 (8.6%)

Doug Biviano: 1,127 (7.3%)

Ken Baer 811 (5.3%)

Levin, the hand-picked candidate of the county Democratic Party leader Vito Lopez, spoke to our reporter Ben Muessig outside Lopez’s clubhouse, the Bushwick Council of the Knights of Columbus at Wyckoff Avenue and Grove Street.

The clubhouse is actually in the 34th District, which Lopez-backed candidate Maritza Davila appears to have narrowly lost to former Lopez-staffer Diana Reyna (D–Williamsbu­rg).

That added a slight tinge of disappointment to the air, especially among staffers sporting Davila T-shirts — though Levin supporters were in great spirits, celebrating in the crowded clubhouse and in the street.

Levin’s rivals slammed him as a “machine candidate,” but on Tuesday night, that machine was humming.

What was the key to victory?

“I had a great team. We worked really hard. And honestly, Vito Lopez’s mentorship and his advice and guidance was remarkably helpful.”

How do you feel?

“Elated. But also hopeful and a deep feeling of responsibility to live up to the trust that people have put in me.”


“I’m at an 8 out 10 on a scale of exhaustion.”

Lopez declined to talk to our reporter, asking why he was not at a party being thrown by Thies, who was endorsed by The Brooklyn Paper earlier this month. Levin ushered Muessig outside and spoke to him there.

Levin’s victory came after an endorsement that clearly did not send the shockwaves that its recipient predicted. Over the weekend, Biviano had been anointed by last year’s presidential also-ran Dennis Kucinich, who had called Biviano “an exceptional candidate with the ability to be an outstanding member of the City Council.

Kucinich called on “all my supporters in Brooklyn … to go to the polls and vote for him” — judging by the results, that may have been the case. After all, Kucinich got all of 840 votes out of 277,000 cast in the entire borough in the February, 2008 presidential primary.

Updated 5:14 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Anon from Boerum Hill says:
Congrats to Levin and too bad for Joan Millman who backed the only city council candidates who supported luxury housing inside Brooklyn Bridge Park (Simon and Heyer). Maybe Millman will finally retire (or be retired?) like her mentor Marty Connor. Good job Steve!
Sept. 16, 2009, 12:20 am
Paul from Park Slope says:
Thank you with leading the story by describing where his victory party was, and why it was there. I guess once the election's over you give up the pretense that you're not a Lopez hand puppet, huh? Is he going to go back to serving as Lopez' chief of staff while he's in the Council? I think he could, legally, and I wouldn't be at all surprised.
Sept. 16, 2009, 8:34 am
Doug Biviano from Brooklyn Heights says:
I want to thank everyone and personally congratulate Steve Levin. When you do this you learn volumes. No matter what anyone may want to think of Steve and despite my own criticisms of his association with Vito Lopez in this race, it must be said that he worked long and hard. I ran into nobody more — campaigning on the ground in all neighborhoods — than Steve. I think this speaks a little about both of our campaigns, but most of all that Steve was out there greeting and listening in everyone’s neighborhood. It’s now our job to be the squeaky wheel in all neighborhoods and perhaps leverage the machine to deliver for all of us in the tough times ahead.

Again, thank you Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Park Slope, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, Williamsburg and Greenpoint for all of your support, your contributions and for being receptive to the end in a relentless storm of canvassing. I also want to thank the other candidates. It's not an easy process and it was an honor to stand with them before the public.

I will write some time soon about the many successes in our campaign from bringing healthcare to the fore as a local issue to U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich insisting that we get Charlotta Janssen’s “Bus Boycotters & Freedom Riders” art exhibition before the National Black Caucus to bring to Washington to be viewed by millions. The exhibition will be on display until we close down our 89 Montague office in a couple of weeks so please come on by to view and chat.

Thanks everyone for a wonderful opportunity in pursuit of my dream of public service. It’s been a rush. Ciao.
Sept. 16, 2009, 4:23 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
Congrats Steve. Now do something about the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Make so that children can enjoy it.
Sept. 16, 2009, 7:39 pm
Judi from Cobble Hill says:
Pacholo, Amen!
Sept. 16, 2009, 9:42 pm
Longtime Resident from Bushwick says:
Watch your back Stephan, once YOU have a mind of your OWN or YOUR opinion Mr. Lopez will turn on you like he did with Diana Reyna. I have witnessed him praising her as the best thing that could ever happen to Bushwick then trying to destroy her when she disagreed with him. As long as you ALWAYS agree with him and stay his minion I guess you're safe.
Sept. 16, 2009, 9:52 pm

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