Truman Club Honors Judge, Endorses Chin, Readies For Primary Battle

Jacob Goldman, Judge Richard Lee Price, Karen Blatt.

Jacob Goldman, Judge Richard Lee Price, Karen Blatt.

This past Wednesday evening, the Lower East Side’s Harry S. Truman Democratic Club honored Judge Richard Lee Price and local District Leader Karen Blatt.

At its annual fundraising dinner, the Grand Street political organization recognized Judge Price, who retired from state supreme court in the Bronx this past year. He was praised by District Leader Jacob Goldman for, “a lifetime of amazing work,” in New York’s judicial system.

Price, a Lower East Side resident, thanked members of the Truman Club for their support over the years. “This is my neighborhood,” said the judge. “This neighborhood supports so many candidates. We have had so many judges coming out of this club, I can’t count them all.”

During the dinner, the Truman Club also announced its endorsement of City Council member Margaret Chin, who faces two challengers, Christopher Marte and Aaron Foldenauer, in September’s Democratic Primary. “I really wanted to thank the Truman Club for supporting me for my re-election,” said Chin. She also paid tribute to David Weinberger, the longtime district leader who died this past year. “He was so supportive,” Chin said. “I remember working with him when he was at United Jewish Council, and he always made sure I knew what was going on, and he was truly a friend.” The Council member also thanked, “all the friends that I have, you know, met throughout this year at Truman (Club), especially Judy (Rapfogel). I will continue working with all of you in the community to make sure our seniors can age with dignity in the community they helped to build. That is so critical.”

Council member Chin speaks at last week's dinner.

Council member Chin speaks at last week’s dinner.

It’s been a couple of turbulent years for the Truman Club, following former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s conviction on federal corruption charges. For the first time in decades, the local assembly member is not a Lower East Side resident (Yuh-Line Niou was elected to succeed Silver in the 65th Assembly District this past year). While Silver may have faded from the political scene, Judy Rapfogel, his former chief of staff, remains a driving force within the club.

Earlier this month, we reported that district leaders Jacob Goldman and Karen Blatt would be opposed in the upcoming primary election by two of their neighbors — Lee Berman and Caroline Laskow. Blatt, who was recognized for her service to Community Board 3, said she and Goldman are ready for the challenge. “The Truman Club is having a primary in September and each and every one of you are going to be asked to help out,” said Blatt. “With the strong support of everyone I see in this room, we’re going to prevail.”

There are four political clubs within the 65th Assembly District. The Truman Club covers Part A of the 65th AD, which includes Grand Street and the cooperative apartments that formed Sheldon Silver’s political base for so many years. District leaders are elected to serve as local party organizers and community leaders.

In addition to Council member Chin, last week’s dinner was attended by candidates for judgeships and by Carlina Rivera, a candidate for the City Council seat in District 2.