Keith Wright Supports Inez Dickens To Get Her City Council Seat

wright-inez-1NY Post reports that Harlem heavyweights Keith Wright and Inez Dickens are taking steps to swap seats after Wright’s narrow loss in a congres­sional primary last month.

Wright made a deal with Dickens to run for her City Council seat next year if he lost the primary, in exchange for his support of her running for his Assembly seat, a source said. Dickens is running unopposed for the Albany post.

On Less clear (of) the future of Wright’s Assembly seat. Wright endorsed City Council Member Inez Dickens to replace him, but with his loss many Harlem insiders wonder if Wright could renege on his promise. Wright may decide, though, to run for the Council seat Dickens is said to be leaving. There is plenty of chatter about Wright positioning himself to challenge Espaillat in two years, especially if he can work to ensure that there are fewer other black candidates in the running.

Dickens was an active supporter of Wright’s congressional campaign and appears keen to move to the Assembly. She will be term-limited out of the Council at the end of 2017. There are no term limits for state legislators, Wright has served in the Assembly since 1992.


The practice of trading City Council and state legislative seats is fairly common and easily achievable due to the facts that almost all races in New York City are decided during the Democratic primary and city and state elections do not occur in the same years. Current Council Member Inez Barron ran for her husband Charles Barron’s Council seat after he was term-limited out of office – he then successfully ran for her Assembly seat the following year.

The practice has an extremely high success rate because the Democratic County Committees have major sway in who runs and gets political and financial backing. Wright is the head of the Manhattan Democrats and would likely be able to maneuver himself into an easily winnable race should he choose to do so.

If he does indeed decline to seek re-election, his replacement will be chosen in September’s primary (again, by virtue of the fact that there is virtually no Republican presence in Upper Manhattan). If Dickens were to win the seat, she would leave the Council and Wright could then run in the special election to replace her.”

We wait to see how this will play out.

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