Some of the most likely candidates to become the next New York City Council speaker are spreading campaign cash to other campaigns, in an apparent early effort to curry favor and votes among potential colleagues in 2014.
Over the past several months, Queens Assemblyman Mark Weprin, who is jockeying to be selected speaker by his council peers, has given out seven $1,000 donations. The $7,000, most of it doled out in recent weeks, has gone to members of the Assembly running for the City Council who are not only likely to win their races, but have a relationship with Mr. Weprin from his own days as a member of that body. Recipients include Assemblymen Rafael Espinal and Alan Maisel of Brooklyn, Councilman Vincent Gentile of Brooklyn, Costa Constantinides of Queens, Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson of the Bronx, Mark Levine of Manhattan, and Manhattan Assemblyman Micah Kellner.
Not to be outdone, speaker's race rival Dan Garodnick, has given more: nearly $18,000. The Manhattan councilman, whose campaign account is flush from an aborted citywide run for comptroller, has given the $2,750 maximum contribution for a primary to six different candidates. Most of it was paid earlier this month. The recipients include Mr. Constantinides, Ms. Gibson, Mr. Levine, Bronx Council candidate Andrew Cohen, Brooklyn's Chris Banks and Manhattan Councilwoman Rosie Mendez. He also has given $500 to Bronx Councilman Andy King, and $750 to Bronx Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.
Another likely contender, Bronx Councilman James Vacca, has given three donations to council campaigns: $2,700 to Mr. Cohen, $1,000 to Ms. Gibson and $1,375 to Mr. King.