Ruben Diaz Jr.
Seems like a lotta electeds are testing the citywide political waters, and that now includes Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
We heard – and Ruben’s spokesman John DeSio confirms – that he’s looking at a possible run for Public Advocate, ground level on the greasy citywide political pole.
Ruben already has 450Gs in his campaign warchest and no apparent strong challenger at the moment if he decides to go for his second full term as BP.
Then again, running for citywide office would boost his take in matching campaign funds – which he legally could swing back into his Bronx race should he decide to stay put.
It was the night of a thousand smiles, empty and otherwise.
Bad dental work didn’t stand a chance as hugs and deals were exchanged and arranged at the Bronx Democratic Party’s annual County Dinner last week.
As the late great Harold Fisher, treasurer of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, and less importantly, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, once said at one of THEIR dinners: “Look at this! Look at this! People mending fences, making contracts!”
It looks like Party Boss Carl Heastie and his planning circle finally got it down right this year, packing the room at the July 19 Marina del Rey affair.
They even had to put out extra tables at the $300-a-seat buffet affair to hold the 1,200 party faithful and business suits who showed up to mend THEIR fences and make contracts.
Including program ads, party officials guesstimated they cleared 450-500G for the party coffers.
Among the evening’s entertainment:
• No brawls this year, thanks largely to all the challengers against party incumbents being told, politely, that they weren’t welcome. That most obviously included Mark Gjonaj, who’s challenging absentee Assemblywoman Naomi (Snooki) Rivera, and Gjonaj supporter and 80 A.D. state committeewoman Diane Cerino, who’s OFF the petitions being carried by her Liberty Democratic Club, which is grudgingly supporting Snooki.
• Former Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion, sporting a goatee these days, working the room and called up to the stage to say a few words, as he casts about for a political future.
With $1.1 mil still sitting in his campaign war chest, he COULD bump it up another $750Gs in matching funds if he steps into the “gettin’ crowded” city Controller’s race by just raising another $125G.
Then again, would he go cabeza-a-cabeza for Public Advocate with Rubencito, whom he thanked, by the way, for carrying on all the wonderful accomplishments HE started as BP (ouch!).
• Mayoral hopefuls Bill Thompson, Controller John Liu among those pols paying their props from the podium, along with former Gov. David Paterson, state Controller Tom DiNapoli.
Jose guessing game
Boy, the scenarios are really flying over Assemblyman Jose Rivera’s future plans.
Latest has the 75-year-old Rivera stepping down after the November election to switch seats with term-limited City Council member son Joel.
Jose already did a stint in the council. But as one savvy pol pointed out, he could fatten his pension based on the highest salary in the last three of his four years there.
And by the way, that petition challenge from Ricky Martinez, who’s running against Jose, heads to court next week.
Ricky’s name is on his ballot for alternate judicial delegate, and Ricky says he never gave permission, which could invalidate Jose’s entire petition, kicking him off the ballot.
Taking Klein down
A good source who should know tells us current Senate Dem Conference leader John (Dead Man Walking) Sampson offered former state Assemblyman Steve Kaufman backing to run against Independent Dem Conference leader and burr in his saddle Jeff Klein. Sampson and Kaufman, a maverick in the assembly, discussed it on three occasions, but Sampson reportedly couldn’t guarantee the money Steve said it would take to make it a real race.
Mike Benedetto challenger Egidio Sementelli tellin’ us that not only the incumbent east Bronx assemblyman’s cover sheet on his nominating petition was wrong, but also the AMENDED version, which he claims are automatic grounds for getting tossed off the primary ballot.
We await party consigliere Stanley Schlein’s legal legerdemain to bail Mike outta this one. Case heads to court next week.
The search is on for the missing BPmobile.
Seems nobody can find the borough president’s mobile office – basically a van with cabinets that’s been around since Freddy Ferrer’s time in office.
Our source tells us it was last seen limping down 161st Street with a cranky transmission….
• July 19. Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s hardworking chief of staff Jeff Lynch.
• July 20. Patrick Jenkins, Bronx Democratic Party spokesman (and old college roommate of party boss CarlHeastie)..
Got some hot gossip? E-mail Kappy at firstname.lastname@example.org.