Oliver Koppell announced his plans to run for Senate against Jeff Klein.
He's previously served Riverdale and the northwest Bronx for the better part of four decades, first in the Assembly, then as a City councilman. He has also served as New York State Attorney General.
Klein currently shares control of the Senate with Republican leader Dean Skelos. The coalition controls the agenda. The current power sharing arrangement allows Republicans veto power over certain bills. However, it's been a big disappointment for Democrats.
Elected Democrats outnumber Republicans in the senate, but the two Democratic factions can't seem to reconcile to form the majority.
"What I am saying today is that I am going to run in the Democratic primary against Jeff Klein for the State Senate seat in the 34th district. Primarily in the Bronx, a small portion in Westchester," said Koppell.
According to Koppell, Klein has failed to deliver on issues like campaign finance reform, and higher minimum wages. That has left an opening for a more progressive candidate to mount a challenge.
"I am going to take on Senator Klein to replace him because he has made an alliance with Republicans. He's a traitor to the Democratic party, and more importantly he is a traitor to the very progressive principles that he pretends to espouse," said Koppell.
A good portion of the district is in Koppell's home turf of Riverdale, but insiders say he could have difficulty in the rest of the district located in the east Bronx. Klein has been building political support there for 20 years.
Sources say Bronx Democratic Chairman Carl Heastie will support Klein. But, other Bronx officials could be divided.