Kronfeld drops out of City Council race

MJ Kronfeld at T&V’s debate last month

By Sabina Mollot

Melissa Jane Kronfeld, one of two Republican candidates running for the City Council seat now occupied by Dan Garodnick, has dropped out of the race.

Kronfeld, better known as “MJ,” offered no explanation for her change of heart after having been an active candidate, even participating in a debate co-hosted by Town & Village at Waterside last month.

The self-described “progressive Conservative” announced her withdrawal in an email to supporters on Thursday evening and in a Twitter post.

“It is with great humility and gratitude that I am writing to let you know I will no longer be seeking the City Council seat in Manhattan’s District 4,” she said. After expressing gratitude to her supporters, she added, “I look forward to the next opportunity to continue my service to my community, city, state, country and all humanity in the months and years to come.”

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Republican candidate runs for Garodnick’s City Council seat

Rebecca Harary at her campaign launch event on March 29 with Council Member Joseph Borelli of Staten Island (Photos courtesy of Rebecca Harary)

By Sabina Mollot

Last Wednesday, Upper East Sider and nonprofit founder Rebecca Harary officially launched her campaign for the City Council seat soon to be vacated by Dan Garodnick.

Harary, who last year ran for Assembly in the 73rd District, is the first candidate to officially declare she’s running as a Republican. Self-described “progressive Conservative” Melissa Jane Kronfeld previously told Town & Village she hadn’t yet committed to running on the GOP ticket, only saying she would not run as a Democrat.

Harary, however, has the backing of Manhattan GOP and has also collected a couple of endorsements from Republican City Council members as well as former Governor George Pataki.

The mother of six this week spoke with Town & Village about her priorities if elected, and why running as a Republican in a mostly Democratic city and district isn’t the lost cause it might appear to be.

When running for Assembly, though she ended up losing to incumbent Dan Quart, she did get the highest number of votes for a Republican running for that position since 2000.

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Republican Club president running against Kavanagh

Stuyvesant Town resident Frank Scala, also the president of the Albano Republican Club, at  the barber shop he owns, La Scala Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town resident Frank Scala, also the president of the Albano Republican Club, at the barber shop he owns, La Scala (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

For Stuyvesant Town resident Frank Scala, this is not his first time running for office in a race as a longshot candidate. In fact, it was just two years ago when Scala, who’s also the president of the Albano Republican Club, entered a race without even trying to win. He was completely inactive, merely giving Republican voters a chance to enter the name of someone from their own party.

This time, he’s running as a candidate for the New York State Assembly, 74th District, against Brian Kavanagh. In the last state election cycle in 2014, Scala ran against State Senator Brad Hoylman.

“Most of the time, people don’t vote for the person, they vote for the party,” said Scala, a native of Sicily, who, after over half a century living in the United States, still has the accent of his homeland intact.

For the past 40 years he’s been a barber at La Scala, a shop he owns, in an office building on Fifth Avenue. Ryant Serhant, a realtor featured on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York,” is a weekly client as are a number of others in show business, Scala said, along with more corporate types.

Overwhelming positive Yelp reviews commend his haircutting style and his providing of a “man’s man” environment, complete with racecar art on the walls and a stash of Playboys to peruse through.

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