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Outdoor photo of Oliver Koppell (D), in profile
Oliver Koppell
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Fantastic news! Former New York City Councilman Oliver Koppell has officially kicked off his challenge to state Sen. Jeff Klein, a turncoat Democrat who sold out his own party to give control of the New York State Senate to Republicans—even though Democrats won a majority of seats in the chamber.

Klein made his power grab purely to further his personal ambitions—he's now co-majority leader, along with Republican Dean Skelos—and in doing so, he's stymied all manner of progressive priorities, like the state-level DREAM Act, a fracking moratorium and paid family leave. This is utterly unacceptable in a state as liberal as New York, and Democrats everywhere are furious with Klein.

Koppell, whose progressive bona fides are unquestioned, knows exactly what time it is:

"I'm running because the state senator who represents my district has betrayed the Democratic Party and foiled important objectives," Mr. Koppell said in an interview on Friday.
Klein's district, the 34th, is safely blue, so whoever wins the Sept. 9 Democratic primary is guaranteed victory in the general election. But it's not going to be easy. Klein is a fierce campaigner and excellent fundraiser who already has over $1.5 million stashed away for this race, and he can easily access more.

So Koppell seriously needs our help, and fast. In case you had any doubt, Koppell is most certainly aware of—and appreciative of—our involvement in this race. Over 10,000 of you signed our petition to encourage him to run, and that had its intended effect. Now it's time to take our support to the next level, with dollars.

There will be a time for shoe leather too, but right now, there are a lot of potential allies waiting to see how serious Koppell's challenge looks before they get on board. That makes us the vanguard, and is there any more appropriate place for Daily Kos to be?

But it also means we have to do our part, so please contribute to Oliver Koppell today. Getting rid of Jeff Klein is a key step to ending Republican rule in New York, and it also sends a message to wayward Democrats everywhere: If you side with the GOP, you will face consequences. It's time to make Klein feel those consequences.

Please chip in $3 to help Daily Kos and Ollie Koppell take back the New York Senate.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by New York City.

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