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State Senate Co-Leader Faces Democratic Primary

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Former City Councilman Oliver Koppell has announced he will challenge New York State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein in the Democratic Primary later this year.

Klein has been under fire for empowering Republicans in the state Senate, despite their numerical minority.

Oliver Koppell has served Riverdale and the northwest Bronx for the better part of four decades, first in the state Assembly, then as a city councilman.

He also briefly served as State Attorney General.

According to Koppell, Klein, who heads the breakaway five member Independent Democratic Conference, has failed to deliver on issues like campaign finance reform, and even a higher minimum wage.

"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," Koppell said.

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, which is located in the east Bronx, where Jeff Klein has been building political support for 20 years.

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