He finished sixth out of seven for the Council last year — but that isn’t stopping Doug Biviano from looking for a promotion to Albany.
The one-time loser, a building superintendent on Columbia Heights, announced this week — via YouTube! — that he’s taking on Assemblywoman Joan Millman, giving the Carroll Gardens Democrat her first primary challenge since 2004.
Millman, he says, has done nothing to clean up the state Capitol.
“Unlike Joan Millman, when I see something, I say something,” Biviano told us. “I won’t play that same cynical game up in Albany where politicians refuse to speak out against the corrupt system because it is that very same corrupt system that ensures they keep getting re-elected.”
Maybe it’s a bit too much to hold Joan Millman responsible for Albany’s dysfunction, but Biviano is onto something about election reform: Incumbents lose seats in New York State about as often as the Jets go to the Super Bowl (close don’t count, Jet fans!).
But is Biviano the right man for the job of defeating the 13-year incumbent? This is a guy who came in sixth in a field of seven for the Brooklyn Heights-Williamsburg council seat last year.
Regardless, he spent Election Night declaring victory (and still does!).
“Despite everything, I came within 800 points of Evan Thies with all of his support behind him,” he recalls.
Yes, he did come within 800 votes of Thies. But Thies finished third. And Isaac Abraham was behind him. Steve Levin won, beating Biviano by 4,000 votes.
For now, Biviano is optimistic, despite having no money, according to campaign finance records. Meanwhile, Millman has more than $138,000 on hand.
And she’s not worried.
“He has run before, he has the right to run again and it looks like he’s going to run on these issues,” Millman said, referring to Biviano’s clean up Albany platform. “When I met with him he told me he was going to run a gentlemanly campaign. I told him I’d expect nothing less.”
Biviano does have one thing going for him: He works for a living.
And he thinks being the superintendent of the Columbia Heights apartment building he and his family live in gives him a unique perspective on cleaning up state politics.
“When I get to Albany I’m going to solve problems,” he said. “That’s all I do all day, solve problems.”
Well, if it doesn’t work out, there’s always that toilet at Borough Hall.