The first Republican candidate has thrown his hat in the ring to replace federally-indicted Councilmember Dan Halloran.
Dennis Saffran, 57, said he is running in the 19th Council District to restore “the tradition of integrity and honesty in government.”
The attorney from Douglaston ran for the seat in 2001 and narrowly lost to then-Councilmember Tony Avella.
“I’m the strongest Republican candidate,” Saffran said. “I have a record of citywide and community involvement.
I’ve been active in issues that turned New York City around.”
Saffran is the vice president of the Douglaston Civic Association and works for the Nassau County Attorney’s office.
Halloran faces conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud charges over allegations he helped State Senator Malcolm Smith try to buy his way to the Republican mayoral nomination. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged a number of other state and city officials in the case as well.
“He and I have never seen eye to eye on a lot of issues,” Saffran said of Halloran. “Given his arrest and indictment, he’s presumably not running, as far as I know. Nobody’s going to support him if he does. There’s essentially an open council seat.”
There are also reports a former election foe of Halloran will seek his council spot. All City Council seats along with the mayor’s office will be on the ballot in November. Halloran’s office could be up for special election before then, although Halloran has made no indication he will resign.
The Korea Daily reports Democrat Kevin Kim, who lost a 2009 bid for the district seat to Halloran, has been mulling a run.
Insiders say Republican Rudy S. Giuliani, second cousin to ex-mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and current chief of staff to Councilmember Eric Ulrich, might also be a candidate. Neither he nor Kim have made any official announcements about Halloran’s seat.
Democratic candidates who announced bids for Halloran’s seat prior to his arrest include ex-Assemblymember John Duane, attorney Paul Vallone, former governor’s aide Austin Shafran and urban planner Paul Graziano.