In 2008, Daniel Squadron clawed his way into the state Senate with a hard-fought upset in the Democratic primary, earning 12,688 votes to longtime incumbent Martin Connor's 10,757.
This weekend, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh effectively won Squadron's seat with 32 votes to Paul Newell's 66.
Welcome to democracy—Albany style.
Kavanagh won the Democratic nomination to succeed the resigning Squadron by virtue of an obscure, backroom process. He defeated Newell, a Democratic district leader, despite the latter's capturing a majority of the vote Sunday of the Manhattan county committee—the panel of party insiders charged with handpicking the candidate.
The reason: one of Kavanagh's 32 supporters was Kings County Democratic Committee Chairman Frank Seddio. Party bylaws empowered Seddio to back the candidate of his choosing without a vote of the county committee that represents his borough's portion of the Senate district. Seddio's endorsement carried the weight of the Brooklyn contingent as if it had voted unanimously.