A new candidate is joining the already-crowded race for an Upper West Side City Council seat.
Ken Biberaj, the vice president of the Russian Tea Room restaurant, registered a finance committee and announced his candidacy on Monday.
“As an Upper West Sider and a member of a small family-owned business, I am running for the 6th Council District because we need someone with outside experience who understands our community and how small businesses work,” Biberaj said in a statement. “The West Side is one of the best places in America to live and raise a family, and I pledge to fight for the qualities that make this neighborhood so great.”
Biberaj is no stranger to electoral politics, having served as the Florida political research director for the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). He went to American University, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and New York Law School.
In addition to his current position at the Russian Tea Room—a well-known restaurant on 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, just outside the boundaries of the 6th Council District—Biberaj served as project manager for the restaurant’s reopening in 2006. He is also the vice president of RTR Realty, the group that owns the restaurant.
Biberaj will face former Community Board 7 chairs Helen Rosenthal and Mel Wymore, as well as Democratic District Leader Marc Landis, in the spring 2013 election.