ROAD TO CITY HALL
Aaaaaand, he’s off and running.
Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, the man without a party registration, announced his run for mayor this week, with a foothold on the Independence Party line.
The room at the Bronx Museum was packed with party loyalists and a scattering of Bronx well-knowns on Tuesday, Feb. 26 as Carrion continued his climb up the greasy political pole.
He now desperately needs to grab a endorsement from a third Republican county leader (He already has Bronx GOP leader Jay Savino and Brooklyn’s Craig Eaton) to qualify as a serious heavyweight on two ballot lines.
It could be the magic key to City Hall, where the last two mayors managed to walk in on GOP tickets. .
Or, the two-term former boro prez could wind up as a footnote in political history as a spoiler, draining Hispanic votes.
“I don’t see many Hispanic voters crossing over to an Independence line there,” said noted Democratic political consultant George Arzt. “In this city, people pretty much vote for the major parties, and Latinos, for the most part, are ingrained to be Democrats. What votes he does take away, he takes away from the Democratic nominee.”
As for unaffiliated independent voters being confused in the voting booth with the Independence Party line, “There may be some who are confused, but I think for the most part, voters are more sophisticated,” said Arzt.
Should Carrion manage to get the Republican line, added Arzt, Mayor Koch’s former press secretary, “it’s still hard without money to bring Latinos over. It is rare that they come over to a Republican candidate.”
“I just don’t see where it goes,” Arzt said of Carrion’s run. “Being a spoiler is not a good place for him to be in the future.”
Is it a dream or does a Carrion run only on the Independence line have any legs?
“It’s a long-shot, but still not impossible. It’s happened before,” said political numbers cruncher Jerry Skurnik of Prime New York, citing the mayoral wins of John Lindsay and Vincent Impelliteri since 1950.
“When non-Democrats have won, it’s been something out of the ordinary,” he said. “But I didn’t think Bloomberg would win, so what do I know?”
As for winding up with a spoiler tag after the election, Skurnik said “There’s a spoiler, and then there’s a spoiler. Leaving the Democratic Party is a more significant story for Adolfo.”
•Adolfo’s speech was long on what he wanted to achieve, but short on how. But hey, it’s early and this was his opening act.
•His campaign mantra, henceforth, is “Make it YOUR city.” Does that mean tearing up the bike lanes and bringing back 16-oz. slurpees?
•Organizers chose a smaller upstairs room at the museum to pack it with party members and supporters rather than larger available galleries. But then again, the old political rule is to go small and pack the room to impress the cameras.
•Bronx locals in attendance included Chamber of Commerce Prez and CEO Lenny Caro, community board district managers Ivine Galarza and Carmen Rosa, developer and almost-Council-candidate Rhadame Perez and business man and civic leader Bob Bieder, who told us AC “did a terrific job as borough president, and I feel he could do an even better job as mayor.”
•Mark the calendar: AC turns 52 on Wednesday, March 6. Gee, could there be a fundraiser in the works?
•His speech, stirring as it was – including reading Emma Lazarus’ ENTIRE “Give us your tired, your poor…” poem – was only a merciful 35 minutes long for the standing crowd.
Anyone who hasn’t endorsed Riverdale City Council candidate Andrew Cohen, raise your hand.
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew was the latest to join the ranks after Council Speaker Chris Quinn, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, Manhattan Boro Prez Scott Stringer, and the entire Riverdale elected hierarchy marching in lock-step behind the former legal counsel to Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz.
“We’re awaiting word from the Vatican once the smoke clears,” joked campaign advisor Bruce Feld.
And for fair and balanced coverage, Cliff Stanton and Shelley Keeling are also running for term-limited Ollie Koppel’s seat.
It’ll be City Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s birthday party, but the pre$ent$ will be for longtime Vacca staffer Richie Torres, who’ll be benefitting at his first official fundraiser in the Democratic primary race for the 15th C.D. in the central Bronx.
The party’s Thursday, March 7 at the Villa Barone Manor, with Jimmy and local Assemblymen Mike Benedetto and Mark Gjonaj co-hosting.
And for an early birthday present for Torres, he just picked up the first union endorsement in the race, from UFCW Local 1500, representing 30,000 supermarket and retail food workers in the city.
And incumbent Councilman Joel Rivera is hosting “a Major Networking Event” Friday, March 8th from 6-10 p.m. at Side Street, 1332 Blondell Ave., in support of longtime chief of staff Alberto Alvarez, who’s also running for the 15th C.D. seat.
One of our occasional (?) drinking buddies, former City Commissioner of Records Brian Andersson (with two s’s) of Woodlawn, is a fountain of city history. He knows where the bodies are buried, so to speak.
Brian’s wife Marianne Anderson (one s. Go figure.) is the Parks Department’s administrator of Pelham Bay Park.
We haven’t heard whether she thinks Brian is out of his tree, but it seems he’s going Hollywood, or least HBO, on us.
He’s advising his Facebook circle that “Boardwalk Empire fans with that sharp eye,” should watch for him in the new season.”
“Filming starts soon. My fitting appointment is tomorrow.”
Does this mean I actually have to pay extra for my cable now?