Volume 16 • Issue 50 | May 7 - 13, 2004

Tribeca Republican takes on Nadler

By Elizabeth O’Brien

Downtown Express photo by Aaron M. Cohen

Peter Hort

A Tribeca resident and fourth-generation Downtowner has announced a self-described “long-shot campaign” to unseat U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler this fall on a moderate Republican platform.

Peter Hort declared his candidacy last Friday in City Hall Park and then walked the length of the Eighth Congressional district, from W. 89th St. in Manhattan to Coney Island, over the weekend. Hort, 32, has raised more than $110,000 so far and said he poses the greatest challenge that Nadler has faced in his nearly 12 years in the House of Representatives.

“We are running a long-shot campaign, but strong, good ideas are hard to hold down,” Hort said in a telephone interview.

Hort lives with his wife, 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son at the corner of Hudson and Laight Sts. in Tribeca. His great-grandfather, grandfather and father all worked in printing businesses in Hudson Sq. and the West Village.

Hort left his job in publishing to work full time on his campaign, his first run for elected office. He said his moderate approach would take him farther than his opponent in creating common-sense solutions for the district.

“Jerry Nadler is completely marginalized, even by his own party,” Hort said.

An aide to Nadler’s campaign said, “The congressman takes all challenges seriously.” Nadler serves as the top Democrat on the Constitution Subcommittee, is the top-ranking Northeast Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee and is an assistant whip in the House Democratic Caucus.

When asked how he would allocate the $1 billion in federal 9/11 aid remaining to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Hort said he would focus funds on education and affordable housing. He said he did not favor spending money on the rail link to J.F.K. International Airport, a project that is estimated to cost between $3.5 billion and $6 billion and that is a low priority for many Downtowners, according to polls.

“There are a number of worthwhile projects — the key is we have to figure out how to pay for them,” Hort said.

Jennie McCue, Nadler’s spokesperson, said that the Congressman would not favor the rail link until a detailed cost-benefit analysis was finished.

In a 20-minute telephone interview, Hort did not mention any specific legislation he would propose, saying only that education, affordable housing and small business assistance would top his list.

Hort said his family moved to Tribeca so his two children could attend P.S. 234. It didn’t take long for the area to feel like home, he said.

“I have a lot of friends who don’t live in New York and they’re always surprised when I talk about the sense of community in Lower Manhattan,” Hort said.



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