State Assemblymember Mark Weprin has confirmed that “if the seat opens up – and it looks like it will,” he will run for the City Council 23rd District seat currently held by his brother David in November.
“David has said he is running for [city] Comptroller and Bill Thompson [the current city Comptroller] said he is running for Mayor – I take them at their word,” he told The Queens Courier on Tuesday, December 23.
He said that he had informed “some other candidates” of his decision on Monday and said “I would have preferred to wait” before making his decision public.
Weprin, who ran unopposed for his 8th Assembly term this November, confided that the decision was “good for me politically and personally, with the new baby and all.”
Weprin’s wife Jennifer gave birth to their third child, Jayne, in April.
“Fifteen years is a long time, and it would be nice to be closer to home,” he said of the commuting distance to City Hall as opposed to Albany.
Saying, “It’s both a challenge and a chance to best use my talents, especially on education issues” Weprin pointed to his activism on mayoral control of schools and the emphasis on standardized testing.
“I would be one of the few in the council with children in the public school system,” he pointed out. “I can continue to work on other issues I’ve been deeply involved with – like seniors – in the council,” he added.
There is little doubt among political observers that an exchange of the $79,500 Assemblymember’s salary for the council’s $112,500 base pay must also have appeal for the newly expanded family.
Weprin has always maintained that he would never run against his older brother David for an elective office – with big brother’s insistence that there’s no third council term in his future, there seems little to keep him from keeping the seat in the family.
According to official Assembly election results, last November, Weprin garnered 27,166 votes, against 15,467 ballots by people who voted for other candidates for other offices but not him for Assembly.