By Brendan Krisel
Benjamin won his seat on the State Senate in a 2017 special election.
HARLEM, NY — A Harlem state lawmaker is mulling a run for citywide office during the 2021 elections, according to reports.
Sources close to Sen. Brian Benjamin told City & State that the legislator is "definitely thinking" about running for the city office currently held by Scott Stringer. Benjamin has yet to form a campaign committee for the election.
The State Senator for New York's 30th District — which spans most of Central Harlem and parts of West Harlem, East Harlem, the Upper West Side and Washington Heights — is a relative newcomer to elected office. Benjamin won his seat on the senate in a 2017 special election that was triggered by a game of political musical chairs in Harlem. The seat opened up after former State Sen. Bill Perkins won the City Council seat vacated by Inez Dickens, who kicked off the chain reaction by winning a seat on the State Assembly.
Since joining the State Senate Benjamin has passed bills requiring liquor stores to notify neighbors before opening and has advocated for neighborhood causes such as the fight against re-branding South Harlem as "SoHa," an effort to stop the opening of a Methadone clinic in a $4M brownstone and preventing the city from cutting middle school grades at Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts.
The field for the 2021 City Comptroller election is beginning to take form, and it could be quite crowded according to City & State's reporting. Benjamin may have to contend with politicians such as City Councilmembers Brad Lander and Helen Rosenthal, State Sen. Kevin Parker and State Assemblyman David Weprin.