Crowded council race field trimmed by BoE

So long, Miguel Santana. Adios, Algernon Quattlebaum. Sayonara, Daryl Johnson. Au revoir, Myra Bon. On Tuesday, August 4, the New York City Board of Elections dismissed a slew of Bronx candidates for City Council – unknowns and on-the-cusp contenders – on the basis of flawed or insufficient petitions.

Incumbent Oliver Koppell and former Community Board 8 chair Tony Perez Cassino both passed muster; the ten-member Board of Elections commission let Council District 11 well enough alone. Dismissed in the 12th Council District: Democrats Johnnie Ruth Goth of Laconia, Herbert Moreira-Brown, Quattlebaum and Krystal Serrano of Co-op City.

Four candidates remain: incumbent Larry Seabrook plus Andy King of Olinville, Sebastian Ulanga and Jerome Rice of Co-op City.

The commission bumped perennial challenger Irene Estrada Rukaj of Allerton in the 13th Council District, narrowing the Democratic field to one: incumbent and former Community Board 10 district manager James Vacca.

In the 14th Council District, the commission denied Kevin Ennis and Miguel Santana. The latter finished 22 valid petitions short of the requisite 900 to qualify. Yudelka Tapia and New Life Outreach International Church pastor Fernando Cabrera will take on incumbent Maria Baez.

Baez, who boasts the worst attendance record of any City Council member but has secured endorsements from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Borough President Freddy Ferrer, lost ground when the Bronx County Democratic Committee endorsed Cabrera. Opponents have questioned Cabrera’s residency and party affiliation though; he lived in Westchester County and was registered as a Republican until recently.

Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Council candidate Yorman Nunez – a 20-year old college student – abandoned the race unexpectedly in July.

Nunez hasn’t endorsed a candidate, unlike candidate-turned-Baez campaign manager Yesenia Polanco.

He bowed out of a crowded field to conserve time and energy, Nunez said. The young candidate plans to found a political action committee. Nunez compiled more than the requisite 900 signatures, he said.

City Council majority leader Joel Rivera will run unopposed in the 15th Council District; two challengers – Jose Padilla Jr. and Oscar Zorrilla of Belmont were bounced on August 4. Tremont property tycoon Radame Perez aborted a well-financed campaign months ago.

The commission turned away Daryl Johnson of Mount Eden in the 16th Council District, leaving Mark Escofferry-Bey and Carlos Sierra to swipe incumbent Helen Diane Foster’s seat. Former Councilman Wendell Foster is managing Foster’s campaign. An objection has landed Escoffery-Bey in court, Sierra said in a phone interview on Friday, August 7. Escoffery-Bey was unavailable for comment.

Robert Rosado of Parkchester was dismissed in the 17th Council District. Incumbent Maria del Carmen Arroyo and one-time Assemblyman Israel Martinez of Parkchester remain. Arroyo and her mother, Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, are embroiled in an embezzlement suit. A U.S. Attorney announced on Thursday, August 30 the indictment of nephew Richard Izquierdo Arroyo. The SBCC Management Corp. exec spent federal money to re-floor the Assemblywoman’s office and fly the Councilwoman to Puerto Rico.

Annabel Palma, 18th District incumbent, is breathing easy. Her only challenger, Myra Bon of Parkchester, failed to make the ballot.

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