Dinkins endorses David Weprin

Dinkins endorses David Weprin
By Anna Gustafson

Former Mayor David Dinkins Sunday threw his support behind City Councilman David Weprin’s (D−Hollis) campaign for city comptroller and praised the lawmaker’s financial background.

“As Council Finance [Committee] chair, David has championed increased transparency in the city’s budget process, balanced the fourth−largest municipal budget on time seven years in a row and fought to restore budget cuts to community−based organizations and services,” Dinkins said in a statement. “His background and experience make him the only candidate who will effectively manage the pension system and work to keep city investments secure.”

Dinkins, who became the city’s first black mayor in 1990, also announced he would help former Democratic mayoral candidate and Bronx Borough President Fernando “Freddy” Ferrer co−chair Weprin’s campaign.

Weprin is hoping the endorsement from Dinkins will give his bid for comptroller a boost in a crowded Democratic primary.

“David Dinkins is the first African−American mayor, and he carries a lot of weight in the African−American community,” Weprin said. “Freddy Ferrer was the first Latino Democratic nominee for mayor and certainly has a lot of credibility in the Latino community. There’s no Latino or African−American candidate in the race, and those are important constituencies in the Democratic primary.”

Bill Thompson, the current comptroller who is running for mayor, is black.

In addition, Weprin said the help from Dinkins and Ferrer should help him gather support in Manhattan, Dinkins’ home borough, and the Bronx. Neither borough has a candidate running in the comptroller race.

Weprin is running against two other Queens Democrats: Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing), who announced his candidacy last week, and Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D−Forest Hills). Councilman David Yassky (D−Brooklyn) is also making a bid for comptroller.

Katz and Liu have also landed high−profile endorsements, with Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate from a major party, handing her endorsement to Katz and Darryl Towns, chairman of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus in the state Assembly, throwing his weight behind Liu’s bid.

“I think it’s a big boost to Dave’s campaign, and I’m totally jealous,” Liu said of Dinkins’ endorsement.

As co−chairs of Weprin’s campaign, Dinkins and Ferrer will “be involved in every aspect of my campaign,” Weprin said.

“They’ll be involved in strategy, heading fund−raisers and when it comes close to the election, I’d hope they’d do television commercials and be prominently displayed in direct mail pieces,” Weprin said. “They’re going to be tremendous assets.”

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e−mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 174.