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Lawyer Tries To Win Lopez's Old Seat

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Lawyer Jason Otaño is giving it a second go. Otaño has officially announced his bid to fill the state Assembly seat vacated by scandal-plagued former Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

Otaño made the announcement on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall under an overcast sky and the patter of rain yesterday.

It is the second time in the past two years that Otaño has run for a seat that has traditionally been held by former Assemblyman Vito Lopez and his allies.

Otaño unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Martin Dilan for his seat last summer.

The recurring theme of his announcement was restoring integrity and respect in Albany.

“Having a government that we can trust in should not be a luxury; it’s a right for all of us,” Otaño said. “I will work tirelessly to bring back the public trust that has been broken.”

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Borough President Marty Markowitz and Councilwoman Diana Reyna have endorsed Otaño.

“The bottom line is that he will bring a refreshing voice on behalf of his constituents,” Markowitz said. “Which will be necessary in that community after years of the domination of an individual.”

Otaño worked as general counsel for Markowitz.

Lopez resigned his seat last month, hours before the Assembly was set to vote on expelling him because of a slew of sexual harassment claims against him.

Otaño was the only person at the event to mention Lopez by name.

“We cannot and will not allow the repugnant behavior of those like Vito Lopez or the sleazy grimy politics of his obsolete machine to define our communities,” he said.

Along with bringing trust back to New York State government, Otaño pledged to fight for jobs, housing and education.

This will be a crowded race with Charvey Gonzalez (an aide to Dilan) and Maritza Davila (a Democratic district leader) also running for the seat.

The falling rain was symbolic for Frances Lucerna, the co-founder and executive director of El Puente. “It’s about cleansing,” she said.

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Guest Friday, 24 October 2014