3 council seats wide open; some incumbents challenged

Former Council Speaker and 15th Congressional District candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito wants to save SYEP

Most Bronx Council members are facing Democratic challengers to represent the party on primary day, Tuesday, September 12, with the exception of term-limited council members.

The primary races to replace term-limited James Vacca and Annabel Palma are covered extensively on page 5.

Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents the 8th Council District which encompasses El Barrio/East Harlem, Mott Haven, Highbridge, Concourse, Longwood, and Port Morris, is also term limited. Her seat is up for grabs as well.

Andrew Cohen
Photo courtesy of NYC Council website

Mark-Viverito, born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, worked for over a decade in local activism, nonprofit organizations and grassroots labor organizing before being elected to the City Council in 2005. She was unanimously elected to serve as NYC Council Speaker in January 2014.

Democratic candidates vying for her seat are Diana Ayala, Tamika Mapp, Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, and Israel Martinez.

Council District 12 incumbent Andy King, first elected in November 2012 by a landslide of 80 percent, was re-elected by a majority to his first full four-year term in November 2013.

Andy King
Photo courtesy of NYC Council website

The 12th CD includes Wakefield, Olinville, Edenwald, Eastchester, Williamsbridge, Baychester, and Co-op City.

King faces challenges from Pamela Hamilton-Johnson, and Karrée-Lyn Gordon.

Council District 14 incumbent Fernando Cabrera has served since January 2010 in positions including chairman of the Juvenile Justice Committee and co-chairman of the Gun Violence Task Force.

Fernando Cabrera
Photo courtesy of NYC Council website

Cabrera is a member of the Black, Latino & Asian Caucus and is an advocate for tenants, youth and seniors.

The 14th CD includes Morris Heights, University Heights, Fordham, and Kingsbridge.

Cabrera faces challenges from Randy Abreu and Felix Perdomo.

Ritchie J. Torres
Photo courtesy of NYC Council website

Council District 17 incumbent Rafael Salamanca Jr., the son of first-generation Puerto Rican immigrants, grew up in the Bronx valuing hard work and giving back to the community.

Beginning his career working in healthcare to expand access for low-income and working families, Salamanca then served as district manager for Community Board 2.

He also previously served as president of the 41st Precinct Council, working closely with the NYPD and other local leaders to help improve public safety in the community.

Vanessa L. Gibson
Photo courtesy of NYC Council website

Salamanca faces a challenge from Helen Foreman-Hines.

The 17th CD includes Concourse Village, Crotona Park East, East Tremont, Hunts Point, Longwood, Melrose, Morrisania, Port Morris, West Farms, North Brother Island, and South Brother Island.

Not facing challengers as they enter their final four-year term are: Andrew Cohen, 11th CD; Ritchie Torres, 15th CD; and Vanessa Gibson, 16th CD.

Rafael Salamanca
Photo courtesy of NYC Council website

Reach Reporter Bob Guiliano at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at bguiliano@cnglocal.com.

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