Monday, October 6, 2008

Bronx politicians weigh plans in case of third term for Mayor Bloomberg

Sunday, October 5th 2008, 5:30 PM

While Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión is playing coy about his political plans should Mayor Bloomberg succeed in extending term limits, other Bronx politicians are not.

Carrión, who is running for city controller, said last week he has no doubt the City Council will approve the term limits extension, but he insists it's still too early to say whether he will flip back and seek reelection to his $160,000-a-year borough presidency.

Much will depend, of course, on what the current controller, Bill Thompson, chooses to do. For now, Thompson is insisting he's still running for mayor, Bloomberg or no Bloomberg.

Assuming that neither Thompson nor Carrión are politically suicidal, the smart money is on both running next year to keep their current jobs.

That, of course, would force Carrión's would-be Bronx successors to rethink their game plans for 2009.

Heading the list is Councilman Joel Rivera, (D-East Tremont) son of endangered county Democratic leader Assemblyman Jose Rivera.

"I think you're going to see a lot of the citywide and local officials postpone their plans for four years," he said. "And that's all it's going to end up being."

Rivera said he will run for reelection to his Council seat if Thompson and Carrión "stay where they are."

Rivera's toughest competitor for Bronx borough president is Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr. (D-Soundview).

"The only one individual that I would step aside for is Adolfo Carrión," said Diaz. "If Adolfo moves on and runs for controller, I will run for borough president, regardless of who else runs.

"But if an extension of term limits kicks in, and for whatever reason Adolfo chooses to run for a third term, not only will I not run for borough president, I will be his biggest supporter."

Four Councilmembers could find themselves in deep trouble for betting on the wrong horse, should Party Boss Rivera be unseated by a party rebellion.

Term-limited Councilwoman Maria Baez (D-west Bronx) was Rivera's right hand in fighting the rebels. She, along with Councilmembers Maria del Carmen Arroyo (D-South Bronx), Larry Seabrook (D-north Bronx) and Oliver Koppell (D-Riverdale) would likely find themselves without party backing, and facing strong challenges.

rkappstatter@nydailynews.com

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