Rumors that Vito Lopez would look to run for City Council were justified this week when it was discovered that embattled assemblyman filed with the Campaign Finance Board.
Lopez will make a run in the 34th Council District, which includes the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Bushwick and Ridgewood. The seat is currently held by Councilwoman Diana Reyna, who will be forced out of office by term limits.
Reyna is a former Lopez staffer, but has had a rocky relationship with her former boss over the past few years.
The announcement comes in the wake of sexual harassment charges that Lopez made unwanted advances to female staffers, including an underage girl, which Lopez denies.
Two of the claims were settled out of court for a total of $103,000 in taxpayer money.
Lopez has also been battling thyroid cancer, and has said that the rigors of traveling to Albany were taking a toll on his health.
Before Lopez's campaign was made official, candidates Antonio Reynoso, who is currently Reyna's chief of staff, gained the support of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
“We demand that our lawmakers do not sexually harass the women they work with,” said NOW-NYC President Sonia Ossorio at an endorsement rally on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall last week. “NOW is here today to put our full support behind Antonio Reynoso.”
“If Lopez does move forward with a City Council campaign, he needs to know that his career will end in defeat and embarrassment,” Reynoso said. “Organizations and leaders around the city are rallying around my candidacy because they know I will deliver honest and ethical leadership.”
Others are also criticizing Lopez over his recent transgressions.
The New Kings Democrats went as far as to create an anti-Lopez poster that reads “Let’s Keep N.Y. City Council A Molester Free Zone.”
“Voters could not have a more striking contrast between two candidates in the 34th City Council District,” read a statement from club president Alex Low.