Brad Lander, a cerebral and unassuming city councilman from Brooklyn with a degree in anthropology, has abruptly become the sort of person who endlessly fascinates scholars of the modern metropolis: a power broker.
Allies greet him with mazel tovs and hugs. Supporters ask if he will run for mayor in 2021. An old friend, spotting him at a social gathering, bows deeply – a not entirely facetious acknowledgment of Mr. Lander’s new status as a kingmaker in City Hall.
A former housing advocate who succeeded one Bill de Blasio as a Democratic councilman from Park Slope four years ago, Mr. Lander and another passionate liberal, Melissa Mark-Viverito, joined with several other lawmakers, some of whom had been backed by the Working Families Party, to form a Progressive Caucus.
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