Dems supreme court slate doesn't include Klein, Cohen


All the speculation that either defeated state Sen. Jeffrey Klein or Councilman Andrew Cohen would be nominated for a judgeship with the state supreme court appears to be for naught.

The Bronx Democratic County Committee chose the eight people they want to represent them on the November ballot, and none of those names included Klein or Cohen, although Cohen was chosen to nominate one of the judges — Elizabeth A. Taylor.

Instead, the Democratic slate includes Taylor, Robert Torres, Mary Ann Brigantti-Hughes, Llinet Rosado, Eddie McShan, Ben Barbato, Julio Rodriguez III, and Marsha Michael.

While many of the names were expected, the absence of both Cohen and Klein was somewhat of a surprise, especially since media reports suggested that first Cohen was up for a seat, and later Klein. 

Klein had been rumored for one of the slots since he lost his state senate primary election to Alessandra Biaggi last week, while Cohen has been whispered as a potential bench nominee since late last year. 

In a speech following the nominations, the Bronx Democrats chair — Assemblyman Marcos Crespo — called out some of the media that took his organization to task for accusing the group of politicizing the nominating process. 

"We have incredible leaders who I believe have been insulted by those who were out there claiming that this process is a sham, and that the people nominated are political hacks," Crespo said. "I think you heard stories of men and women who represent the very best of us. Who are examples to our children. Who have earned this and deserve this, and are amazing jurists."

Crespo didn't shy away from the fact he backed Klein in the primary, but he's now offering Biaggi the same support for what is likely going to be a far-less contested general election in November.

"I respect what he's done for the years that he's served," Crespo said of Klein. "He deserves some respect for that. We congratulate our Democratic nominee in Alessandra Biaggi, and we will work with her. That's what we do as a party. We are not here to pick sides. We work together."

If Cohen had earned the nod, he likely would've been elected in the heavily Democratic Bronx, which would have opened up his council seat. Both former Community Board 8 chair Dan Padernacht and educator Eric Dinowitz — son of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz — have declared their interest in succeeding him, but it's unclear how Cohen's lack of ascension will affect those bids. 

But not all is lost quite yet. Some of the supreme court appointments could create vacancies in the lower courts. There's a chance Mayor Bill de Blasio could appoint Cohen or Klein into an empty bench slot early next year. 

However, if either are still eyeing a spot working in the supreme court, they'll have to wait until next September when Bronx Democrats get together again to nominate a slate of judges.