Embattled State Sen. Pedro Espada, Jr. has another challenger for his 33rd District Bronx seat as Jose Gustavo Rivera throws his hat into the ring.
“My campaign will be based on transparency, accountability and reform. The Senator from the 33rd District must embody the progressive values of the community (s) he is elected to represent. Too often in this state, the developers and corporations get rewarded, while every day workers and our students get short changed. We can do better. I will fight to set Albany's priorities straight,” Rivera said in a statement. "It is time for someone from the 33rd District to embrace this community and to look out for the interests of the constituents, not himself."
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Rivera has worked for "progressive candidates who want to shake up the old-school politics, including Jose M. Serrano in his successful campaign to oust 28-year incumbent Republican Olga Mendez," according to his campaign bio.
Rivera also served on both of state Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins' campaigns and as her Chief of Staff, managed field operations for then-candidate Barack Obama in a number of states and also worked as Director of Outreach for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. He enters the race with support from three members of the City Council: Annabel Palma, Melissa Mark Viverito and Jumaane Williams.
Update: LG candidate Bill Samuels has previously issued a call for unity in the Bronx so as best to avoid a rough primary that could hurt chances of toppling Espada.