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In the final analysis, State Senator Martin Connor just didn’t have the numbers to defeat challenger Daniel Squadron in last week’s primary.
But more surprising was just where he didn’t get the numbers.
According to a breakdown of neighborhoods and state Assembly Districts, residents of Williamsburg came out in droves to support Connor on September 9.
In turn, voters in Carroll Gardens and Brooklyn Heights – which was historically a core voting base for the 30-year incumbent -- kept pulling the lever for Squadron.
Voting tallies show that Connor received 3,066 votes in Assemblymember Joe Lentol’s 50th Assembly District to Squadron’s 1,758 votes.
The 50th Assembly District represents nearly all of Williamsburg – showing that the Orthodox voting base, which was divided between the two candidates in the last days of the campaign, supported Connor.
Political insiders said that Williamsburg’s overwhelming support of Connor came mostly through the efforts of Lentol and Assemblymember and Kings County Democratic Party leader Vito Lopez.
Yet voters the 52nd Assembly District in Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights – where Connor had a comfortable support base through the long-established relationship with the Independent Neighborhood Democrats and Assemblymember Joan Millman – decided to back Squadron.
Statistics show that Squadron received 3,205 votes to Connor’s 1,791, giving the 28-year-old newcomer 64 percent of the vote.
Political insiders speculated that the Working Families Party’s growing popularity in downtown Brooklyn helped sway the vote in the 52nd AD toward Squadron. The Working Families Party was one of the first political organizations to support Squadron.
Others said that no one in the 52nd Assembly District is pointing fingers at each other, since Connor didn’t step up to Squadron’s challenge as he should have.
“If you look at the numbers from his 2006 race against Ken Diamondstone, this was the area where Connor had a problem,” said one political watchdog, who wished not to be named. “Voters in this part of the district are concerned about Brooklyn Bridge Park and Connor’s support of housing in the park created some opposition for him.”
The insider also speculated that Squadron’s immense “lead time” in the campaign also played a factor.
“He was full-time campaigning, going door to door while Connor was up in Albany,” he said. “[Squadron] wanted it badly and the voters wanted to give it to him.”
The remaining three Assembly Districts on the Manhattan side of the 25th SD also voted in favor of Squadron, officials said.
In total, Squadron received 11,977 votes to Connor’s 10,169 – giving him 54 percent of the vote, according to the Board of Elections.
Connor still hasn’t contacted Squadron to either concede or congratulate him on the win.
Instead, he summarily fired Marty Algaze, his longtime chief of staff, and told employees that they should start looking for work, according to published reports. He has also been seen cleaning out his office.
No matter who wins the general election in November (Squadron does have a Republican opponent), Connor’s 30-year career in Albany will come to a close at the end of the year.
Connor told the New York Post that the firing of his chief of staff had nothing to do with the election.
Nothing was said about Connor’s defeat on Monday night when he moderated the Kings County Democratic Committee Meeting at St. Francis College, where he presented the agenda to an auditorium full of political colleagues in relaxed business attire and no tie.
Insiders said that some of Connor’s longtime political allies are trying to find a way to keep him on the State Senate payroll after January.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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