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Thursday, November 27, 2014
Political Arena

Out on the stump with the state Senate candidates

Kate Pastor
Posted
Megan Lu
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., right, and State Senate candidate Gustavo Rivera sat down for lunch at the Land and Sea Restaurant in Kingsbridge on Monday afternoon. While Mr. Diaz would not officially endorse Mr. Rivera, he expressed that he would not be endorsing the incumbent, State Senator Pedro Espada Jr.

… with Espaillat

After Pedro Espada Jr. made a press appearance in North Riverdale last week, the pols just kept on coming.

On Saturday evening, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz could be seen on the corner of West 235th and Johnson Avenue introducing passersby to Adriano Espaillat — who he endorsed and who is vying for the 31st District State Senate seat being vacated by Eric Schneiderman.

Mr. Espaillat represents the 72nd Assembly District encompassing Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill. His long list of endorsements includes big names like the Working Families Party, SEIU 1199 and 32BJ, as well as local names like the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club, Rep. Eliot Engel, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Councilman Oliver Koppell.

“The goal is just to meet as many potential voters as possible,” Mr. Dinowitz said.

… with Mark Levine

Though there will be four names on the ballot come Sept. 14, Mr. Espaillat’s main rival at this stage is Mark Levine, founder of the Barack Obama Democratic Club who serves as chair of the Traffic and Transportation Committee of Community Board 12.

He has been endorsed by a star-studded cast, along with the Northwest Bronx Democratic Alliance — the political club founded by former Community Board 8 member Tony Cassino — and, most recently, by former Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger.

Mr. Levine, who in July requested that the state attorney general open an investigation into Mr. Espaillat’s relationship with a nonprofit, could be seen talking to voters at Kappock Street bus stops on Tuesday, shaking hands, handing out flyers and introducing himself to Riverdale’s commuters.

… with Gustavo Rivera

Sandwiched between the two sightings was a lunch date between Gustavo Rivera, Mr. Espada’s main opponent, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. The press was invited to a not-quite-yet endorsement gathering.

Though Mr. Diaz said he would be willing to speak with candidate Dan Padernacht should he request a meeting, he seemed to be signaling that Mr. Rivera would have his full support soon.

Why else invite the press? To watch him eat a sandwich?

Levine v. Espaillat

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