BUSHWICK (PIX11) – Asking someone in Bushwick if they know who Vito Lopez is can generate some interesting responses.
David Aponte didn’t waste any time nor did he mince words, “He is a scumbag of the earth. This guy needs help. He is a sick guy. How are you going to touch those girls while they are working? It makes no sense.”
Nearly two months after resigning from Albany in disgrace, one would figure that Lopez’s political career is fading away. But like fellow disgraced politicians Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner, whose own controversies with women have been well chronicled and ultimately cost them their jobs, disgraced former Assemblyman Lopez is joining them.
According to his primary opponent Antonio Reynoso, Lopez filed petition papers on Monday to get back into office as a member of the New York City council.
“He hasn’t made any statements but actions are much louder than words and in this case it is very clear he is going to be running,” said the 32-year-old Reynoso.
Unlike the fallen political heavyweight, Reynoso is already running like a seasoned politician with an engaged staff working the phones, a glossy webpage, the endorsement of several unions as well as the support of former Lopez constituents who can no longer support Lopez and his alleged perverted antics that resulted in a six-figure payout.
As for Lopez, he is reportedly using his old Democratic clubhouse as his campaign office. Although it was closed when PIX 11 News showed up on Wednesday. Meanwhile VitoLopez.com is actually a website that lists only negative stories involving the 72-year-old’s scandal with young female staffers. As for the female vote. Lopez is not receiving much support from women PIX 11 News spoke with, “We don’t need no more sex scandals in the world today,” said one woman who did not want to be identified.
Angelica Rodriguez started on the fence and then reached her conclusion in a matter of seconds, “I’m not too sure. He needs to prove himself a little more and then I would say maybe yes, but right about now no.”
There were no answer at Lopez’s house along Stanhope Street in Brooklyn but simply mentioning the geographical location of his residence makes this race so interesting.
Although he lives at on Stanhope Street, it is not within the district he is trying to represent.
To put it bluntly, Vito Lopez lives outside of the district he is running for.
“His primary residence in the 37th District,” said Reynoso who quickly added, “He is running in this district, but if he wins he’s going to have to figure out a way to move into the district shortly after the election.”
Many might say he is the ultimate outsider looking to get back on the inside.
As for Reynoso’s roots? He grew up in the district. In fact, only a few blocks away from his South Third Street campaign office.
PIX 11 News did reach out to Lopez by leaving a message at his lawyer’s office but the call was never returned.