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Carrion set to accept Obama post

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According to published reports circulating in the New York media, Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. will likely be tapped to head President-elect Barak Obama’s newly created White House Office of Urban Policy.

While the reports have not been confirmed, and Carrion said that he was misquoted at a speech he gave at Yale University Friday, December 5 in which it was reported that he said he had indeed been appointed to an undisclosed post with Obama, many different media outlets are reporting that it is likely that Carrion will be Obama’s top man when it comes to cities.

Carrion has been considered a strong contender for several key posts in the Obama administration, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development that went instead to New York City Housing Commissioner Shaun Donovan.

Carrion’s second 4-year term as borough president runs out on December 31, 2009. If Carrion has appointed to an Obama post, a special election would have to be called by Mayor Bloomberg to fill the balance of his term.

To call a special election, the mayor would have to issue a “proclamation of election” for Carrion’s seat once the specific date the seat is vacated is established.

Bloomberg would be required to call for a special election within three days of the occurrence of the vacancy, under the New York City Charter.

Carrion would likely vacate his seat in January. A special election would be called on the first Tuesday after a 45-day-waiting period.

An independent nominating petition would be used, meaning that any registered voter could sign any candidate’s petition for the special election, regardless of party affiliation. Generally speaking, special elections attract wide fields of candidates.

Whoever wins the special election would have to run again in the primary and general election in the fall of 2009 to be elected to a full four-year-term as borough president.

Many candidates are expected to express an interest in the office, including Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr., Councilman Joel Rivera, Councilwoman Helen Foster, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca, among others.

As of press time, none of the above would comment on a run for borough president.

“Until it is confirmed that there is indeed a vacancy for the office of borough president, Councilman Rivera is not going to address the issue,” said Rivera spokesman Michael Nieves.

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