By Thomas Tracy
As the old saying goes, you have to be in it to win it…even if the win is almost assured. Despite the overwhelming buzz that the 59th Assembly seat is Alan Maisel’s to lose – probably, only after a cataclysmic event happens first – the Democratic candidate was hurriedly stuffing envelopes for a mass mailing to registered voters throughout the district, reminding them of the special election next week and encouraging everyone to come out and vote. “Even as we speak, I’m doing a mailing right now,” said Maisel, speaking from the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club on Monday night, just a week before the February 28 election. “We’re taking this thing very seriously.” “I’m going to every meeting I can attend and alert people about the election,” he added. Since the District’s Democratic committee chose him as their candidate, Maisel has left his job as chief of staff at former Assemblymember Frank Seddio’s office and has dedicated all of his time to drumming up votes. According to the City Board of Elections, Maisel will be going head to head with Republican party candidate Ronald G. Haugstatter of Flatlands and Alice Gaffney of Marine Park, who will be running on the Conservative line. Even though voters coming to the polls will have three names to choose from, area political watchdogs have already painted Maisel as Seddio’s successor. Seddio left the Assembly after being elected as Surrogate Court Judge last fall. He officially took the position on January 1. The seat has been empty since that time. Since there are two and a half Democrats for every Republican in the district, it’s expected that Maisel will win. If he does, he is expected to report to Albany as the district’s new Assemblyman on March 6, right in the middle of the legislative session. But don’t expect a flurry of new laws to be flying off of the new Assemblyman’s desk. The Assembly will be too busy voting on bills that had already survived committee scrutiny. They will also be busy trying to put out the state budget on time. Next week’s winner will probably be learning all they can in the four months before the end of the session in June. Then he, or she, will be focusing on their re-election campaign. The statewide primary is in September. If Maisel wins next week and again in September, he will he the latest of a long line of local incumbents who grabbed the brass ring in a special election and have yet to let go. Brooklyn State Senators Carl Andrews and Carl Kruger both won in special elections along with Seddio, who took over the district following the tragic death of Anthony Genovesi.