Reuven Blau/New York Daily News
City Council candidate Antonio Reynoso urged Gov. Cuomo Tuesday to investigate all the tax breaks Lopez, the disgraced former pol who is running for the council, sponsored for luxury developers during his decades-long tenure in the Assembly.
In 2012, Lopez, then still Assembly housing committee chairman, sponsored three bills that provided tax breaks worth tens of millions of dollars to the developer of a skyscraper seeking to be the world's richest apartment complex.
The tax abatement measure for the luxury building rising at 157 W. 57th St. later passed in a broader housing bill after two other state pols quietly introduced it. Lopez, meanwhile, resigned in disgrace earlier this year in a sexual harassment scandal.
Over the years, Lopez played a key role in crafting which city neighborhoods, and development projects, should be entitled to the tax abatement, called 421a. And Reynoso thinks the process was corrupt.
Reuven Blau/New York Daily News
June 19, 2013 - The upstart candidate hoping to keep disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez from seizing an open City Council seat has notched the endorsement from Lopez’s former ally.
Brooklyn Democratic party boss Frank Seddio will give his nod of approval to Antonio Reynoso, 30, at a Wednesday announcement at Borough Hall.
“I have and will continue to support Antonio Reynoso who will bring a fresh set of ideas to such an important community,” Seddio said in a statement, referring to the Bushwick-Williamsburg district.
Brooklyn’s political power broker had been one of Lopez’s closest allies since 1998, when they met as state assemblymen. Lopez was Brooklyn party boss before resigning from that post in disgrace.
Seddio broke from his old friend after allegations surfaced that Lopez had sexually harassed young female staffers in his office.
“They haven’t talked since then,” said a source.
Reynoso has served as the chief of staff City Councilwoman Diana Reyna (D-Bushwick), who is term-limited out. Reyna and Lopez are political enemies.
Reynoso is also set to be endorsed by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer Wednesday.
Reynoso has landed all the major union endorsements and political support so far, including nods from the teachers union and Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-West Village).
“Everyone is turning out for Antonio as a show of force against Vito and his attempt at a comeback in the City Council,” said political consultant George Arzt, who represents District Attorney Charles Hynes, who has long been linked to Lopez.
Lopez’s fall from the Assembly has not stopped the scandal-tarred pol from fund-raising. He has raised $20,135 in cash that is eligible for the matching funds from the city’s campaign-finance program.
Erin Durkin/New York Daily News
May 23, 2013 - A who's who of women pols launched an effort to keep pervy ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez out of the City Council Thursday, backing his Democratic primary opponent, Antonio Reynoso, for the Brooklyn seat.
“My advice [to Lopez] is cease and desist and do it now. This is not just a fool’s errand. It is an outrage,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who was joined at the launch of Women for Reynoso by a dozen pols, including Rep. Nydia Velazquez, ex-Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman and others.
Lopez quit the Assembly over sexual harassment charges but is still eyeing the Council seat.
March 4, 2013 - They should legally change his name to “Vito foe.”
Antonio Reynoso, a candidate to replace term-limited Brooklyn Councilwoman Diana Reyna, kicked off his campaign this weekend with a bevy of institutional support. The campaign, in addition to highlighting his own accomplishments, is also being run as a direct counter force to something that has yet to occur: the entrance of Vito Lopez in the race.
“Yesterday afternoon…Antonio Reynoso officially kicked off his campaign for City Council in the 34th District, with a large group of community leaders rallying around him as Vito Lopez eyes the seat,” reads the first line of the press release for his launch.
Powerful labor unions like the Hotel Trades Council and elected officials including Council Speaker Christine Quinn have moved quickly to endorse Reynoso, Reyna’s chief of staff, to deter Lopez from even seeking the seat. It has been long rumored that Lopez, stripped of his powers in Albany in the wake of being accused of sexually harassing staffers, would run for the seat of one of his many nemeses, Reyna. Reynoso has been laying the groundwork for this race for over a year and it’s no longer an uphill battle for Reynoso’s anti-Lopez club, the New Kings Democrats, to defeat Lopez because his brand has become so toxic.
Though he undoubtedly can pull votes from his bases in south Williamsburg and Bushwick, Lopez lacks the ability to dispense public money to his supporters from the powerful Housing committee. Organized labor and outside interest groups are motivated to chase Lopez from the political scene entirely. Lopez, due to his ailing health, may ultimately not even run for the seat. If he does, it will be a brutal campaign season for a 71-year-old man.
Andrew J. Hawkins & Chris Bragg/Crain's Insider
March 1, 2013 - North Brooklyn council candidate Antonio Reynoso will kick off his campaign in the Los Sures section of Williamsburg, where he grew up, at 1 p.m Saturday. Mr. Reynoso, the chief of staff for the current occupant of the seat, term-limited Councilwoman Diana Reyna, has emerged as the establishment pick in a race that could potentially include controversial Assemblyman Vito Lopez. The will be at Nuestros Niños, 384 South 4th St.
Andrew J. Hawkins & Chris Bragg/Crain's Insider
February 28, 2013 - The powerful Hotel Trades Council rolled out three City Council endorsements on Wednesday: For Manhattan Assemblyman Micah Kellner, upper Manhattan's Mark Levine and north Brooklyn's Antonio Reynoso. "Our 32,000 members across New York are excited to endorse Antonio, Mark and Micah for City Council. These 3 candidates will bring unique skills and experience to the Council and we are confident that they will stand with, and fight for our members and their families," said HTC political director Josh Gold. All three are the early frontrunners in their races, though Mr. Reynoso could potential face a challenge from Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Speaking of Mr. Kellner, one of his opponents, Benjamin Kallos told The Insider he has landed the endorsement of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1179, which boasts more than 1,000 members.
Celeste Katz/NY Daily News
January 8, 2013 - While everyone continues speculating about where the endorsements are going in the big dance of the 2013 mayor's race, at least one of the major hopefuls is putting her clout behind a Brooklyn City Council contender.
Outgoing Council Speaker Christine Quinn is among the hosts of a Wednesday evening give-what-you-can fundraiser for Antonio Reynoso, a son of Williamsburg who hopes to succeed his boss, term-limited Brooklyn Councilwoman Diana Reyna.
The fete -- co-hosted by Reyna and Rep. Nydia Velazquez -- is slated for Huckleberry Bar on Brooklyn's Grand Street.
"I'm thrilled that three leading women in New York politics [are] hosting this community fundraiser for me. I am gathering more and more support every day for my campaign," he said in a statement.
"I am running to rebuild the middle class in my district and improve the economic situation that lower-income people are facing," Reynoso continued. "My priorities include strengthening the quality of education, ensuring responsible economic development, and bringing more good-paying jobs to the area."
Just another little tidbit on this: The triumvirate of hosts is also interesting in that Velazquez and Reyna had previously teamed up to lean on Quinn regarding the issue of paid sick days. In any case, it can't be too shabby for Quinn (who's already good on the primary money-raising front herself) to get a little more facetime with voters, whether they're in the increasingly important Latino voting bloc or not...
Reynoso also today picked up the early endorsement of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (as noted by Crain's), as have Melissa Mark-Viverito, Costa Constantinides, Rory Lancman, Donovan Richards and Steve Levin.