Waiting for Nelson (Speak up, please) Castro to decide run

Is he is or is he isn’t?

Bit of a kerfluffle in recent days over Nelson (‘Speak up, please’) Castro reportedly weighing run to take back his west Bronx assembly seat.

He resigned after it came out that he secretly bugged fellow pols for four years to help save his own skin with prosecutors on a perjury charge.

His noble undercover work helped snag Morrisania Assemblyman Eric Stevenson on a chump change bribery charge. But from what we can gather, we’d be surprised if Nelson helped catch any other big political fish.

Steve Santana, Nelson’s district leader in the 86th A.D., told us back on May 23, just before the news broke about Nelson weighing a run, that the William Jefferson Clinton Democratic Club was meeting that night to discuss backing Nelson, with “a lot of people on the street” supporting such a move.

This past Tuesday, he said Nelson expected to make his decision by Friday, May 31 – after our deadline.

But Santana seemed to have cooled to the idea of a Nelson rerun.

“He’s talking to different folks about raising the money, to see if he can do it,” said Santana. “For my part, I would tell him, ‘Take it easy, let things go by and start working something different.’”

With petitioning starting Tuesday, June 4, the jockeying to fill the seat covering University Heights, Tremont, and Fordham has already begun, with a number of names already in it to win it or weighing taking a shot.

That includes female district leader Yudelka Tapia, who’s appealing $108,000 in funding and penalties owed to the city Campaign Finance Board; former male district leader Hector Ramirez, Manny Tavarez, Victor Pichardo, Haile Rivera, and Richard Soto, who has a slate of challengers across the borough on his Rising Voices Coalition.

We’d be surprised if the Bronx Democratic Party throws any support to Ramirez, who had the party’s backing last time against Castro.

Hector wrote an open letter to Gov. Cuomo April 27 asking Cuomo NOT to call a special election for Castro’s vacant seat, and instead throw the race wide open with a regular September primary, which of course Cuomo did.

Two possible reasons on that one:

It could have been a slap at Bronx party leader Carl (The Quiet Man) Heastie, depriving the party of anointing a successor, who would then have the advantage of running as an incumbent in the primary.

Or, with Yudelka controlling the majority of district committee members who would vote on a replacement, Carl preferred backing another candidate in an open race.


We need to get this off OUR chest about last week’s Anthony Weiner item. We got half of the item correct in the print version and fixed the web one about Weiner having to use the million bux from city Campaign Finance Board funds in his warchest this time or lose it. But former Bronx Boro Prez and mayoral wannabe Adolfo Carrion is still okay with keeping his leftover CFB funds. And so far, he hasn’t applied for matching funds in this mayoral race.


And speaking of AC, latest numbers from the respected Quinnipiac University Poll found a total of 12 percent of voters saying they “definitely” or “probably” will vote for Adolfo, who’s running as the Independence Party candidate, while 69 percent say they “probably” or “definitely” won’t vote for him.


Scratch William Rivera from that crowded 15th Councilmanic District Race in Tremont/Fordham. Rivera said in an email that his withdrawl is “merely a moratorium.”


Thursday, June 6 is the big night for the 115th Annual Chippewa Democratic Club Dinner Dance at the Villa Barone Manor.

The honorees for the borough’s oldest Democratic club are: state Senate co-leader Jeff Klein; Josephine Fanelli, principal of St. Theresa Elementary School; former City Councilmember Madeline Provenzano; NYC Central Labor Council president Vincent Alvarez; Jeff Lynch, male district leader and Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s savvy chief of staff; and Kevin Alicea, Ruben Rodriguez and Troy Perez, owners of Havana Cafe.


How to improve the odds of most-to-all of the candidates will show up at your mayoral forum?

If you’re Morris Park Assemblyman Mark Gjonji (Joe-nigh), schedule it right after the annual Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday, June 2.

The forum runs from 4-7 p.m. at Columbus High School, moderated by BronxTalk’s Gary Axelbank, with ace borough journalists Kate Pastor of the Riverdale Press, Alex Kratz of the Norwood News and Jordan Moss of Bronx Bureau/City Limits as panelists.


Staten Island mayoral candidate Rev. Erik Salgado, sending shock waves through the Bronx – NOT! – by picking up the endorsement of the Bronx Conservative Party led by Bill Newmark, and probably good for about a thousand votes.

Salgado, BTW, also has the backing of state Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. which must make for some interesting dinner table conversation with his Boro Prez son Ruben Jr., who’s supporting Bill Thompson.


To Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz on the May 21 death of his mother, Jessie, at age 88.


•Congrats to Bronx Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce, upped by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to prestigious Chief of Manhattan Detectives.

Need we say, any number of former Bronx hands are now sporting two and three stars and commissioner titles out of 1 Police Plaza after having made their bones in the Boogie Down.


June 3 – Bernie Schwartz of Hunts Point, otherwise known as Tony Curtis

More from Around NYC