Following a surprisingly modest vote tally in this year’s Democratic Party primary race for Spring Valley mayor, Ramapo Councilman Daniel Friedman is reportedly chomping at the bit for his next opportunity to move up the electoral rungs.
The logical opportunity awaits him in the District 98 Assembly race, where longtime Republican favorite Annie Rabbitt has vacated the position to become Orange County Clerk. The district cover portions of Orange County and Ramapo. Already GOPer Dan Castricone, a Tuxedo resident and former Orange County legislator with Rockland roots, has announced his candidacy, as well as GOPer Deerpark Supervisor Karl Brabenec, and Democrat Krystal Serrano.
The seat is likely to remain vacant until the November election. There are a dozen or so vacant Assembly seats in the state at this time with no replacements appointed or special elections held to replace departed lawmakers.
In September Friedman pulled a disappointing 222 votes in the Spring Valley mayoral Democratic primary. It was less than half the amount of votes of incumbent mayor at the time Noramie Jasmin, who was under federal felony indictment, and about 1/3 of eventual general election winner Demeza Delhomme. Friedman’s vote tally approximated slightly more than half a vote per day gained through a campaign season that lasted about a year.
Friedman lost support from some Jewish voters at the last second due to an edict from their rabbi that they not vote for any Jews. Friedman eventually went on to endorse winner Delhomme, a decision that has proven stressful in light of the new mayor’s quixotic behavior since assuming office.
Tipping his hand that he may run for Assembly, Friedman released a press statement following Governor Cuomo’s state of the state address last week. It is a fact that nobody cares to hear the thoughts of a councilman on a state address by the governor, but a future Assembly candidate’s opinions would certainly be relevant.
Of Cuomo’s speech, Friedman said, “I particularly appreciate the governor highlighting the issue of government consolidation as a means to reduce the size and cost of government in New York. As a councilman, I have spent three years working to consolidate local fire districts in Ramapo to reduce fire taxes for thousands of Ramapo residents. Governor Cuomo’s support of my consolidation proposal, along with the $45,000 grant he awarded us to move forward with it, has put us close to achieving real reform. His continued advocacy for consolidation has made it easier for local governments to view consolidation as the solution to long-term governmental sustainability that it is.”