Monday, September 6, 2010

BP Rubén Diaz Jr. and José Gustavo Rivera Meet With Residents of the Amalgamated Housing Corporation

Yesterday, Dan Padernacht,withdraw as a candidate for New York State Senate. He will join hand in hand with Rubén Diaz Jr. to elect J. Gustavo Rivera to retired Pedro Espada Jr. from the State Senate.

In the New York Times today, Mr. Padernacht said:
“I’m basically going to put all my support behind Gustavo right now so we can join forces as Democrats and try to knock Espada out,” Mr. Padernacht said in an interview Sunday night.

“We didn’t want to take the risk of Espada getting back into office.”

Mr. Padernacht’s name will still appear on the ballot, but he said he would spend the next eight days campaigning for Mr. Rivera and asking his supporters to back Mr. Rivera.

Mr. Rivera called Mr. Padernacht’s support a major development in the campaign. “Adding his strength to our own means that we will be able to take out this guy,” he said."

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP

While I was up at the Carolyn Maloney/Reshma Saujani debate (and believe me, we'll have much more on that), our Frank Lombardi reported:

The two Democratic challengers of Bronx state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. joined forces today in a move that could increase prospects of defeating Espada in next Tuesday’s primary election in the 33rd Senate District.

Dan Padernacht, a 34-year-old community board member, formally threw his backing to fellow challenger Gustavo Rivera, 34, saying he wanted to create “a united front” against Espada and restore credible representation to the district.

“I believe it’s the right thing to do,” Padernacht said at press conference outside the Municipal Building in Manhattan, where he was joined by a bevy of elected officials who are backing Rivera’s campaign, which has drawn endorsements from potent unions and many Democratic elected officials.

Padernacht’s name is likely to remain on the ballot, however, because he didn’t officially withdraw before the end of the declination period last week. Padernacht said he will do everything he can in the remaining week of campaigning to let his supporters know he is no longer running and is now backing Rivera, a longtime political operative who is making his first bid to get himself elected to public office.

“He’s got all of my help, all of my support,” Padernacht said after getting praised by Rivera’s backers for putting his own political interests aside in order to back Rivera and prevent any splintering of the opposition vote in a race where every vote could make a difference.

With fewer than 10% of the district’s more than 100,000 enrolled Democrats expected to turn out, Padernacht could have siphoned off a few hundred votes from Rivera’s tally and boosted Espada’s odds of winning.

Among those on hand to congratulate Padernacht was former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, who commented, “ I wanted to take the time to salute someone who did the right thing. It doesn’t happen very often in this profession.”

freddy ferrer sans moustache.jpg

Freddy Ferrer sans moustache!

Ferrer, a former mayoral hopeful who recently shaved off his mustache after 42 years, denounced Espada as the most embarrassing “public official to have ever taken the oath of office.”

Also heaping praise on Padernacht were city Controller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Manhattan State Senators Eric Schneiderman (a candidate for attorney general) and Liz Krueger, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Kevin Finnegan, representing health workers union 1199.

Diaz said “we know that Pedro Espada has been an embarrassment to us,” and praised Padernacht “for stepping aside” for the good of the constituents of the 33rd District.

“This is a call to conscience for the voters in the 33rd Senatorial District,” Diaz said, “ We must say No to Pedro Espada.”

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