Activist, Former Athlete Corey Johnson Running for NYC Council

Activist, Former Athlete Corey Johnson Running for NYC Council

BY Neal Broverman

April 02 2012 6:40 PM ET

Corey Johnson, the activist who made a name for himself in the 2000s after becoming the nation's first out high school football captain, filed paperwork to enter the race to succeed New York City councilwoman Christine Quinn.

Quinn, currently the City Council speaker, is termed out in 2013. The lesbian politician is likely running for mayor of New York. Hoping to replace Quinn are four LGBT candidates, including the 29-year-old Johnson. The former athlete blogs for the gay website Towleroad and also serves as community board chairman for New York City. Johnson was previously coy about running for Quinn's seat, but he's now officially registered a campaign committee with the city, indicating his clear intent. City&State sees a potential problem for Johnson with progressive voters: his support for mayor Michael Bloomberg in his 2009 re-election.

The other three LGBT candidates include Yetta Kurland, a civil rights lawyer who has strong support among some of the very liberal LGBT voting blocs in New York. Kurland told City&State that she was pleased with all the LGBT candidates: “I think it’s a good sign that we see diversity within the LGBT community, it is reflective of a freedom of choice that wasn’t available to us 10 or 20 years ago.”

Also running is Brad Hoylman, another community board chairman. Hoylman also serves as executive vice president and general counsel at the Partnership for New York City, a pro-business group. Some see Hoylman's job as a potential problem for his candidacy, as the Partnership for New York City was influential in Quinn's decision to shelve a paid sick leave bill — after Parnership undertook a study that showed such legislation might discourage business in the city, Quinn lost interest. Hoylman does tell The Advocate that he supports the paid sick leave bill.

Also likely running is Andew Berman, the out head of the Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation, which advocates against overdevelopment in the historic neighborhood.

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