Brooklynite runs for Senate seat — in Idaho!

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He’s never been to Idaho — heck, he’s never been west of Buffalo! — but Bay Ridge resident William Bryk wants to be the Spud State’s next U.S. senator.

Why would any self-respecting Brooklynite even bother? Indeed, it’s not as though Bryk has a raft of positions that gibe with Idaho’s fierce independence or a platform that matches its rough-hewn mountain ways.

For him, the challenge to Republican Sen. Mike Crapo is motivated by one thing: principle.

“Six years ago, the Democratic Party of Idaho failed to nominate a candidate,” Bryk said, appalled that the unopposed Crapo was able to secure 99 percent of the vote. “Given that it’s as easy as filling out a form and writing a check, I thought this was odd, even reprehensi­ble.”

The state hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since 1974, but who knows — it might simply be due to a lack of a hard-headed Brooklynite willing to carry the blue-and-gold flag.

It’s certainly not the first time that Bryk — whose last name rhymes with bike — has sought public office since he was student body president of Manhattan College in the mid-1970s.

Of course, back in those heady days, a guy could win on a platform of more efficient beer delivery. “The student government had a monopoly on the distribution of beer, and, of course, you needed men to load the kegs onto the truck. Patronage and an independent stream of revenue — we had all the ingredients for an authentic political organizati­on.”

Manhattan College, he added, “was a great place for an aspiring politician.” Unfortunately, fate — or, let’s be honest, lack of political talent — dealt him a losing streak.

First came the bid for Congress in 1980 — when he lost the Democratic primary to Mark Green, of all people. Next, he ran — and lost — races for the City Council in 1996 and ’97.

He even failed in a try for Smallbany as an assemblyman in 1998.

He has not run for local dog catcher, so it is unfair to suggest that he could not indeed win such a position. But the bottom line is that his political career has not gone according to plan.

“I was not elected to Congress at the age of 25 as I had hoped,” said Bryk. “I had hoped to see greater interest in my candidacy.”

But he still burns to represent the people. Even those of a state to which he has never traveled. Hear that, Idahoans? He dares you.

“Either the Idaho Democratic Party finds someone to run, or else my name will be on the ballot,” he said.

It’s unclear if Bryk, who has written for the New York Press and the now-defunct New York Sun, is even a Democrat. He is at the moment, he says, because “eight years of George W. Bush can change a person’s mind.”

And he was a Democrat back in the 1980s and early ’90s, too. But between then and now, he ran for Staten Island district attorney on the Right to Life Party ticket and won the New Hampshire vice-presidential primary as a Republican — although the latter is admittedly a nonsense election with exactly no effect on the national Republican ticket.

In any case, he is an Obama man. In fact, he’s running on that, saying his main edge over Crapo is “an inclination to support the current president.”

Beyond that, his campaign platform ain’t much to look at. He’s for a single-payer health care system, bringing troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and not much else off the top of his head.

“The great thing about a campaign where you probably won’t win is that you can afford to tell the truth about everything.” In his first full-length interview, the Bay Ridge resident didn’t have any particular underappreciated truths in mind, but added, “I’m sure I’ll come across a few.”

Bryk is light-hearted about his Senate run, but his campaign isn’t a complete joke. After all, the Idaho party isn’t guaranteed to find a real candidate — it failed last time, remember.

The party’s executive director asserted that Democrats are fully capable of fielding a home-grown candidate this year.

“We had a lot of people interested in running against Crapo last time,” explained the official, Jim Hansen. “But as the deadline approached everybody sort of went, ‘Well…’”

He dismissed Bryk’s run as a stunt.

“Because Idaho election law doesn’t require candidates to collect signatures to get on the ballot, we always get a lot of characters running in the primaries,” Hansen said, adding, “We’ll definitely find somebody.”

That’s what they said the last time! Perhaps William Bryk really is the answer for the struggling donkeys; and here’s a bonus: if he wins the nomination, he says he’ll “absolutely” move to Idaho to face a certain defeat at the hands of Crapo.

So the utter backwardness of Idaho’s Democratic Party electorate could end up sentencing an innocent Brooklynite to desolate Western exile. No worries; Bryk is taking the threat of being forced to leave the city in stride.

“I like Brooklyn very much. It’s quiet,” he said. “But Idaho is probably quieter.”

Updated 5:15 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Big Man Japan from Jeoorrb says:
I will move to Idaho to vote for this guy.
Nov. 10, 2009, 4:55 pm
Joe Nardiello from Carroll Gardens says:

I think someone envies a certain national story about a weather balloon looking like popcorn popper, and an 11 yr old son with an alibi...

Gimmicks and politics at some point, don't jive with voters -- who eventually will see through to who the candidate actually is. Apologies, but this one doesn't seem self-sacrificing to me and is more on an opportunist for media attention, he's more self-focused than interested in people's lives there. I didn't read too many issues affecting them, in Idaho so why should they care to elect him or pay his salary. (Or, fulfill his lifelong obsession with being elected.)

If he was serious, he should have visited the state at some point (well, even Hillary did that here and went on a listening tour with plans to by a home, if that's his inspiration). If he's not serious, then really.. why bother?

Fame? in Idaho? clips across news wires? a new job writing news, by duping news people with this obscure story?.. If politics here is his goal, how can he ever run here in Brooklyn and in NYC where (mostly) we require people to be true-blue, even if they are Democrats (most of the time, I'm saying). That is, if he actually is a Democrat.
Nov. 10, 2009, 5:17 pm
Douglas Jones from Rupert, Idaho says:
Too bad Bryk has never been to our state - you won't find a more beautiful one.

I'm a fan of Brooklyn's Prospect Park but it has nothing on the Frank Church Wilderness Area - the largest roadless area in the the 48 states. Where you can take a boat tour of the lake in the park you can take a rip roaring week long trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, aka "The River of No Return." While you have squirrels and ducks we have bears, wolves, elk and eagles.

Idahoans dislike and distrust government; even their own. They like to hunt, fish and think New York City is some version of hell. Most go to church on Sundays and most in the south and the east part of the state go to Mormon Ward Houses. You want to run as a Democrat here you'll have to support gun right but dance around abortion rights.

As someone who has ran as a Democrat in this most conservative of states I can tell you it is not for the faint of heart. While we only have a fraction of the population of Brooklyn they are all spread out in a state that is 305 miles wide by almost 490 miles tall. Most of the state is mountains, most is owned by the US Government, which explains much of the distrust towards Washington DC. Our Governor is a cowboy who won a tight fitting jeans contents and on the way home got arrested for drunk driving. The ONLY Democrat elected to a state wide office or a congressional district is a man who would be a Republican in any other state.

Send him out here. I'd live to give him a tour of the state (on his dime). I'll take him to potato fields, elk ranches, lumber forests, silver mines and show him Honest to God real cowboys. He can fly-fish, white water raft, ski at Sun Valley, lose the race but go back to Brooklyn all the richer for having seen the state.
Nov. 10, 2009, 7:59 pm
Jane from Park Slope says:
He'll be good for the job, he looks like a potato.
Nov. 13, 2009, 4:49 am

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