And then there were two!

Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo became the second candidate to officially announce a bid to replace term-limited City Councilman Michael Nelson this year, touting her lifetime residency in the neighborhood and her seven-year-long tenure as the Board’s chairperson.

“Because of my work at Community Board 15, I am able to hear the problems that are being faced day after day by our neighbors,” Scavo said during her remarks before the Highway Democratic Club at Mirage Diner (717 Kings Highway) last Thursday. “To solve these problems, no matter where you live, we need leadership, we need a vision and we need a commitment from someone who cares.”

Scavo has served as Community Board 15 chairperson since 2006. As an unpaid volunteer, she has worked full-time hours leading the 50-member advisory body and is a ubiquitous presence at civic meetings, nonprofit events, business ribbon cuttings and powwows of local leadership. She also serves on the 61st Precinct Community Council, the Coney Island Hospital Community Advisory Board and as executive vice president of the Highway Democratic Club.

That experience, she says, gives her insight into community needs and the know-how to get work done on behalf of constituents – work that she’d be more effective at accomplishing as a councilperson than as a boardmember.

The announcement comes a week and a half after 45th Assembly District Leader Ari Kagan announced his run for the same seat. Backed by the powerful Kings County Democratic Party, and bolstered by his high profile as a radio host and activist for the Russian-American community, Kagan is expected to draw a large percent of the Russian-American vote – which comprises the single largest voting block in the district.

But that lack of support from the political establishment – her announcement wasn’t attended by a single legislator, though she does have support from Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and the Highway Democratic Club – is actually a sign of her independent character, she said.

“Look around. Here we have tonight residents, neighbors, standing side by side. I am not a political opportunist. I stand alone tonight. My allegiance will be to no one except the voter,” she said.

She also noted that her candidacy crosses cultural lines, saying that her deep knowledge of potholes and police problems speaks far louder than ethnic divisions.

“We live in a very diverse community,” she said. “Yet, with so many differences, we have learned to live together as one community, neighbor to neighbor, sharing common goals and common problems.”

Scavo first announced a run for the seat in 2008, but withdrew after term limits were extended rather than challenging the incumbent, Nelson.

She is expected to face off against Kagan, attorneys Igor Oberman, Michael Treybich and Natraj Bhushan, and Nelson aide Chaim Deutsch in the primaries. Former State Senator David Storobin, a Republican, has been fundraising for the seat, is widely believed to be a challenger in the special election, but has not yet confirmed a run.

Read our 2010 Q&A with Scavo.

Video provided by the Highway Democratic Club.

CORRECTION (9:57 p.m.): The original version of this article erroneously stated that Storobin has been fundraising. In fact, he has not. We regret the error and offer our apologies to the former State Senator.

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  • BrooklynBus

    Wonder what time she was at the Mirage. I was also there last Thursday. Didn’t see her. I wish her good luck.

    • MarkJ

      I love how you only show the video of Ari Kagan being heckled, and not his actual announcement, where as with Theresa, you have edited the film to show the best highlights. Talk about unbiased press.

  • cole

    Go Kagan! Ms. Scavo doesn’t even want to hear the problems of neighbors in the coop she
    owns. She allows the building to keep declining without wanting to help
    honest people trying to over see unfair board. They keep violating all
    bilaws.Six months after Sandy, building has not been fixed at all,
    because all the money has also disappeared in the 4 years the inept
    board has been in charge.They can’t even pay utility bills. How will she
    help anyone when she is elected when she doesn’t see problems in her
    own front yard?

    • Eddie

      Go Kagan, Oberman, Treybich, and Storobin. They are hungry for power and money. When and if any one of them is elected, you will not only have the coop to worry about, but your entire district will bleed from theft. At least Ms.Scavo is not desperate for money and quiet frankly you should meet each candidate and make up your mind. Do some research on Oberman and his abuse and theft in a coop where he is president. Scary man.

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