Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
The Democratic Party in Brooklyn has a new party boss. Frank Seddio, a former southern Brooklyn Assemblyman and local judge, was installed as chair by the executive committee of the county organization during a meeting held at Kingsborough Community College Wednesday evening.
The appointment came as part of a deal made with reform elements of the county party. In exchange for accepting Seddio, some of the more onerous practices under the Lopez reign—namely 11 unelected at-large district leader positions beholden only to the chair that appointed them—were done away with.
"You know, there's always been an us-and-them situation around this borough and I'm really hoping to overcome that,” Seddio said. “I hope we're going to reach the point when it's not us-and-them, it's we."
Additionally, key slots were filled with reformers and members of key blocks of support: Jo Anne Simon — whose name was floated as a possible replacement for Lopez — was appointed to a high-ranking committee position, while Assemblywoman Annette Robinson — who challenged Lopez during his initial selection in 2005—became vice chair, and first in line for succession.
“Who leads the Brooklyn Democratic can either make Brooklyn a force for progressive party politics and take a place in the larger stage. We are the largest, if not the second or third largest Democratic enrollment in the entire country, and we have not been much of a player in recent years, because we have been consumed in internecine battles,” Simon said.
Seddio replaces Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who stepped aside as county chair amid calls for his resignation from both the county organization and the state Assembly over multiple allegations of sexual harassment.