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Monday, September 1, 2014

Gustavo Rivera faces Democratic challenger

(Page 2 of 3)
By Adam Wisnieski
Posted

Mr. Tavarez wants to focus on unemployment, sports programs, education, crime, small businesses and seniors, according to his website.

“Things are happening in the Bronx today that break my heart. Unemployment is one of them,” the site reads.

The race is also likely to dredge up drama that revolves around the two candidates’ supporters. 

Mr. Rivera endorsed his friend, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, in a losing effort to represent Congressional District 13. Mr. Espaillat lost to Rep. Charles Rangel, who had the backing of Mr. Tavarez and who may return the favor with his support. 

According to a recent article in Crain’s, Mr. Rangel has vowed to help Mr. Tavarez raise money for his campaign. Whether that will make a difference in the Bronx, where Mr. Rangel lost to Mr. Espaillat, is unclear. 

Support for Mr. Tavarez may also come from Mr. Rivera’s colleague and next-door district neighbor state Sen. Jeff Klein.

Mr. Klein — a strong supporter of same-sex marriage — would not confirm or deny whether he would back the candidate, but he had positive to things to say about him. 

“He seems like an excellent candidate and it’s a race we’re going to be looking at,” Mr. Klein said. “I was very impressed when I saw the website and these videos. He clearly has a real campaign.”

Mr. Klein was referring to three campaign videos showcasing the candidate, some filled with music and animated graphics.

Before Mr. Klein created the Independent Democratic Conference, he helped raise money for Mr. Rivera. He even threw a fund raiser for Mr. Rivera after he was elected to help pay off some of his campaign debt.

Since Mr. Klein started the breakaway IDC, however, Mr. Rivera has had some unkind words regarding his former supporter. 

“As I’ve stated many times before, I am disappointed in the actions of Senator Klein. I do not believe that they make us stronger as Democrats. I believe that we need to deal with our issues inside the family and that that’s the best way to deal with them as opposed to going off and doing something separate,” Mr. Rivera told Gary Axelbank on BronxTalk in April.

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