A number of other candidates have won tough races tonight. As the results come trickling in, here are some notable ones:
Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., currently facing federal charges that he solicited bribes to pay his legal bills in an unrelated federal corruption case, won against a slew of challengers. Six opponents split the anti-Boyland vote, allowing him to skate by with a weak plurality.
State Senator Shirley Huntley, indicted a couple weeks ago on charges that she helped deliver member items to a sham non-profit, lost to Councilman James Sanders, who waged an aggressive campaign and managed to turn out his base in a seat made less favorable to Ms. Huntley in redistricting.
Primaries across the city are reaching heating up, and Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera’s reelection campaign is no exception. Over the past few weeks, Ms. Rivera took constant hits about alleged unethical conduct from the New York Post and other outlets. Her main primary rival, Mark Gjonaj, gleefully used the flaps in campaign mailings slamming the incumbent. However, Ms. Rivera is capable of firing off shots too and a source in the district provided a copy of her campaign mailer attacking Mr. Gjonaj for living in a neighboring assembly district, which you can view below.
“Mark Gjonaj is spending big bucks too try and become our assemblyman, but the truth is, he doesn’t know our community at all,” a campaign mailing declares. “Truth is Mark Gjonaj is raking in the big bucks as a wealthy landlord while actually living on exclusive City Island. Mark Gjonaj wants to go to Albany to help his rich landlord friends get more money out of our pockets.”
It’s Election Day in New York next Thursday! But instead of a titanic battle between ideologies–your Mitt Romneys vs. Barack Obamas, if you will–the options on the ballot will be little-noticed state legislative contests between candidates of the same party, often with few policy differences.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some exciting races happening. From “Who Gets Arrested for Raping a Grandmother?” to “Assemblywoman Caught Up in Sex Scandal with Two Young Men,” there’s been no shortage of nasty drama and mud slinging as voters head to the polls.
Here’s a breakdown of who’s running and why it might matter who wins. The list below focuses on Democratic races because the few Republican primaries in this staunchly blue city tend to have clear favorites or are taking place in such Democratic territory that the victor is reasonably likely to be irrelevant.
Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, who has be subject to a barrage of bad headlines since the New York Post reported that she had a secret Facebook page containing evidence that she gave a government job to her boyfriend, and subsequently reported an ex-boyfriend dropping allegations of corruption, doesn’t look like she’s in the clear yet. While the headlines may have shifted to the bigger story of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s collapse and Speaker Sheldon Silver’s prior efforts to shield him, Ms. Rivera’s main opponent Mark Gjonaj is using his hefty campaign account to further press the case.
To wit, campaign literature is hitting the Bronx asking residents, “Is this the type of person you want representing your family in Albany?” Some of the most critical headlines from the Post and other outlets are featured, including PIX 11′s, “Assemblywoman Caught Up in Sex Scandal with Two Young Men” and the Bronx Times‘ “Naomi Rivera gets herself into a Snooki tabloid scandal.”
Woe be to the pol against whom the tabloids can wield a story that combines allegations of both sex and corruption. That’s the lesson Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera has learned the hard way over the past ten days, as the New York Post has dropped least seven articles and editorials suggesting scandal, uncovering evidence that is now being investigated by multiple agencies.
Congressman Charlie Rangel certainly took note of who endorsed him as he fended off a primary challenge from State Senator Adriano Espaillat earlier this year — not only is he backing a challenge to Mr. Espaillat as he seeks reelection in the State Senate, but he’s also reportedly supporting opponents running against Mr. Espaillat’s backers, like Senator Gustavo Rivera. Well, two can play at that game.
Earlier this morning Mr. Espaillat announced he was endorsing Mark Gjonaj, running against incumbent Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera. The endorsement stands out as Ms. Rivera was a prominent supporter of Mr. Rangel’s, even appearing on the front page of The New York Times at his victory party.
social media strike
Yesterday morning, the New York Post reported that Bronx Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera had an online alter ego Daniela Rivera, a Facebook account where she was more open about her private life, including her relations with a former staffer in her office who reportedly held another full-time government job at the time. Understandably, Ms. Rivera’s electoral rivals in the September 13th Democratic primary are eager to highlight the potential conflict of interest further.
The seemingly strongest and most well-funded of those challengers, businessman Mark Gjonaj, released a statement this afternoon citing New York State’s ethics code for lawmakers and declaring “the public has the right to expect a full investigation into the conflict of interest by all appropriate government agencies.”