Mayor Adams on Wednesday endorsed a former staffer running for State Assembly on a third party line, snubbing the Democratic nominee in the race in a move that could ruffle feathers with legislative leaders in Albany.
Adams, who has recently struggled to advance some of his policy priorities in the state Legislature, offered the endorsement of the ex-staffer, Hercules Reid, during a press conference in Brooklyn’s East Flatbush neighborhood.
“You don’t have to go into the biblical text to understand we have our own Hercules. We have our own strong man,” Adams said, ostensibly confusing the Greek mythological character with a figure from the Bible. “We have a person that will bring that strength to Albany.”
Reid, who served as an aide to Adams while he was Brooklyn borough president, is campaigning as an independent candidate in the May 24 special election to represent the 58th Assembly District, which spans parts of East Flatbush, Brownsville and Canarsie.
He’s running against Monique Chandler-Waterman, the Democratic nominee in the race who has racked up endorsements from a number of powerful unions, including 1199 SEIU, as well as local elected officials like Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Reid said he’s honored to have the seal of approval from Adams, whom he called “a longtime friend and mentor.”
“Honestly, I’m not running just to run,” Reid said. “I’m actually running to turn over the tables, to kick down the doors and to throw out the trash because we are tired of business as usual.”
The endorsement press conference was held on the site where 12-year-old Kade Lewin was fatally shot while sitting in a car last month — and Adams said Reid would be a legislative “partner” in his fight against “gun violence in our city.”
But a Democratic elected official in Brooklyn said Adams’ Reid boost is not going to do him any favors with lawmakers in the State Capitol.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of angering the mayor, said the third-party endorsement sends a problematic message as Adams scrambles to get Democrats in the state Legislature to act on his policy requests, including his last-minute push for extending mayoral control of the city’s public schools.
“With two weeks left in session, the mayor should be up in Albany getting stuff done, not playing local politics,” the official told the Daily News. “Everyone in Albany is watching. Every day he isn’t up here is another count against him.”