Tapia endorsed ex-Republican

14th Council District candidate Yudelka Tapia has made opponent Fernando Cabrera’s alleged “outsider” status an issue. Cabrera lived in the Westchester County town of Pelham and was registered as a Republican until 2008.

But Tapia has neglected to add that she endorsed Assemblyman Nelson Castro in 2008, some Cabrera backers maintain. Castro lived in Washington Heights prior to his election and was registered as a Republican. Newspaper reports had Castro in the Bronx three years prior. Whether Castro in fact lived at his Bronx address has been a matter of investigation. In 2008, a judge’s referee found that nine other voters had listed Castro’s one-bedroom apartment as their address.

“I think it’s hypocritical for [Tapia] to make an issue of [Cabrera’s background] when a year ago she and [14th Council District incumbent] Maria Baez were in support of Castro,” said Greg Faulkner, chair of Community Board 7 and a Cabrera backer.

Tapia admits to endorsing Castro but claims that she abandoned the Dominican pol when she learned he had been a Republican.

“I stepped back from [the Castro] campaign,” Tapia said.

Tapia dismissed the Castro issue as irrelevant to the 14th Council District race. Nelson Castro isn’t on the ballot but Cabrera is, she said.

“No matter how many [candidates move into the Bronx prior to an election and/or switch parties], it’s wrong,” Tapia said.

The Castro/Cabrera question is somewhat beside the point and distracts from the central question: who is the best candidate? Faulkner said.

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