In any Bronx political race, the contest usually - that’s usually - belongs to the candidate who has the backing of the Bronx Democratic Party organization.
That said, it was dueling fundraisers last week in the race for the City Council seat in the 15th C.D. in the central Bronx, with Richie Torres, who’s backed by Councilman Jimmy Vacca, on Thursday, March 7, and Alberto Alvarez, backed by term-limited Councilman Joel Rivera, and Yudelka Tapia the next night.
The importance of the timing, other than filling the campaign kitty, is that the deadline for filings with the city Campaign Finance Board for six-to-one matching funds is/was Friday, March 15.
All candidates for city office are required to file disclosure statements detailing their campaigns’ financial activity from January 12, 2013 through March 11, 2013.
With Richie and Alberto looking at the moment like the potential lead candidates, there’s still a long ways to go in this race - including gathering nominating petitions - before County decides which one it wants to back, with the manpower resources the party can bring to bear - or maybe just stay neutral to keep all concerned political backers happy. And in this case, with two electeds backing competing candidates, this could be a tricky decision for Party Boss Carl Heastie.
One small sidenote: The party went all out to back incumbent Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera in the last election, despite her rather shaky performance record and a bit of play-for-pay scandal of having two boyfriends on payrolls.
It even joined her at the hip with Boro Prez Ruben Diaz Jr. in door-to-door campaigning, but to no avail, with challenger Mark Gjonaj outspending and out maneuvering Snooki to clobber her at the polls.
And speaking of candidates running in the 15th C.D., a note to Joel R. Rivera - NO, the other Joel Rivera, a seemingly perennial candidate: Please fix your spelling of “canidate” in the headline on your website at Joelrivera2013.com/.
Negative news for former Bronx Boro Prez Adolfo Carrion, who’s reported to have just lost the backing of Brooklyn GOP County leader Craig Eaton to make it on to the Republican ballot line in the September mayoral primary.
AC needed the support of three county leaders to get on the line, but it looks like his only supporter at the moment is Bronx GOP leader Jay Savino – for now....
Eaton said he’s joining two other county leaders to support mega-billionaire John Catsimatidis for the GOP ballot line.
Adolfo, who dropped his longtime Democratic Party registration, is a lone wolf at the moment, though he’ll still be on the Independence Party line, making him look more of a Hispanic vote drainer than a viable candidate.
Ever since Charlie Rangel found a quarter of his territory redistricted to take in a western chunk of the Bronx, we’ve been wondering when he’d open a district office or assign a staffer to it.
Well, at least he been making some moves, updating his website, which now states his Harlem district also includes Kingsbridge, Norwood, Bedford Park, Fordham, and University Heights, with some profile info about the nabes.
He also met Friday night, March 8, with several dozen local electeds and party regulars over at Bronx Demcratic County headquarters on Eastchester Road, as well as making a “Chat with Charlie” appearance on Monday, March 11 at the Bronx Library Center free tax filing event put on by the Food Bank for New York City.
Meghan Lynch, longtime chief of staff for Soundview Councilwoman Annabel Palma, swinging over as chief of staff to West Bronx Senator Gustavo Rivera.
His former chief of staff, Conchita Cruz, moving to Washington as deputy COS to Colorado Rep. Jared Polis.
“My four years with Annabel were amazing,” sayeth Lynch, “but this was an opportunity to work on the state level and expand my network.”
Lynch, by the way, holds a master’s degree in public health, a plus for Gustavo, the ranking Dem on the Senate health committee.
And no replacement reported yet for Annabel’s office.
The late Elaine Kaufman (229th St. and Carpenter Ave., Evander Childs High School), had a thing for writers, letting them run a bar tab and stuffing them with her famed saloon’s signature Pasta Bolognese when they were between checks. The tradition continued Thursday, March 7 when the Table 4 Writers Foundation held its first annual awards gala at the NY Athletic Club, bestowing $2,000 grants on five promising winners of a writing competition, as well as honoring Gay Talese and other noted regulars at Elaine’s regular table, where she could keep one eye on the door and the other on the cash register.
Comedian Robert Klein (Decatur Avenue, DeWitt Clinton HS and PS 94) had the audience rolling in the aisles.
We mixed up our cast of characters in an item last week about BOEDC’s No. 2 guy, Frank Randazzo, taking over as Bronx Public Administrator. We fixed it on the web, but for print readers, Michael Lippman, facing trial for allegedly charging excessive fees to handle estates was LEGAL COUNSEL, and NOT a former public administrator. Mea culpa.
March 12 - Councilman Andy King
March 13 - Bronx Republican Party leader Jay Savino
March 19 - Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson