Another candidate looks to replace Vito
by Andrew Shilling
Jun 19, 2013 | 377 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jason Otaño (center) flanked by Antonio Reynoso, Councilwoman Diana Reyna, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and community advocates as he launches his Assembly campaign.
Jason Otaño (center) flanked by Antonio Reynoso, Councilwoman Diana Reyna, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and community advocates as he launches his Assembly campaign.
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The 53rd State Assembly District has been represented by Vito Lopez for the 28 years, but following his resignation over sexual harassment charges, the opportunity is there for aspiring political up-and-comers.

Jason Otaño, a Community Board 1 member and former general counsel to Borough President Marty Markowitz, announced his candidacy last week for the district, which includes portions of Bushwick and East Williamsburg.

In addition to chairing the Economic Development Committee on CB1, Otaño is also the board president of Best of Brooklyn, Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes tourism with programs like the Brooklyn Book Festival and Dine-In Brooklyn restaurant week.

He is also a board member and chair of the Affordable Living Committee at El Puente, a South Williamsburg community organization promoting youth leadership, green job development and tenant education.

“My parents taught me the values of integrity, respect and hard work, the same ideals that guide families in our community. Unfortunately, our district hasn’t always had representation that reflects these principles,” Otaño said. “I am running for state Assembly to give Brooklynites a clean break from the rotten politics of the past.”

He launched his campaign on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall last week with Markowitz, Councilwoman Diana Reyna, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and a number of community leaders and residents.

“I will bring the integrity, competence and reform our district deserves and restore the public trust to our voters,” said the Fordham Law School graduate.

While serving as a member of the Markowitz administration, Otaño was an acting legal and policy advisor.

“While serving as my general counsel, Jason Otaño worked tirelessly to protect the best interests of all 2.6 million Brooklynites,” Markowitz said. “I am proud to endorse Jason Otaño for the state Assembly because I know that he will serve the residents of the 53rd Assembly District with that same dedication.”

As the North Brooklyn regional vice president of the Brooklyn Young Democrats, Otaño has deep family ties in the borough. His father was a firefighter with Engine 202 in Red Hook for 28 years, and his mother is currently a teacher in the city’s public school system.

“I am proud to endorse Jason Otaño for the State Assembly and urge my fellow Democrats to join me in voting for Jason this September,” said Reyna. “We need to restore this Assembly seat, and Jason is the man to do it.”

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