New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York Observer's PolitickerNY Benjamin Kallos to Run for Upper East Side Council Seat by Colin Campbell

Benjamin Kallos to Run for Upper East Side Council Seat


Benjamin Kallos, an attorney and consultant, said in an interview today that will seek the seat currently held by Democratic Councilwoman Jessica Lappin. Councilwoman Lappin is thought to be running for Manhattan Borough President, where the incumbent, Scott Stringer, is expected to run for Mayor.

Should that set of dominoes fall in place, Mr. Kallos stated he “absolutely” will campaign for the seat and has already opened a 2013 campaign committee for the endeavor.

Mr. Kallos, a former Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Jonathan Bing, previously campaigned for the seat in 2009 when Ms. Lappin, whom Mr. Kallos calls “amazing,” was contemplating her own campaign for Public Advocate. After she decided to run for reelection instead, Mr. Kallos dropped his bid.

Currently Mr. Kallos works at the New Roosevelt Initiative where he focuses on government transparency projects. He notably helped develop websites aiming to increase such transparency in the past and said he would like to translate some of these efforts into government policy. Making hundreds of thousands of government documents publicly accessible, he says, would be “a huge job creator,” as it can allow businesses and individuals to operate more efficiently in unexpected ways.

Other candidates mentioned for the seat include Assembly Members Dan Quart and Micah Kellner, although neither has publicly signaled their interest.

Colin is a politics reporter for the New York Observer.. Follow Colin on Twitter or via RSS.



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