By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 19- With less than a month to go starting at the top with the race for mayor, it is almost 100 percent sure that there will be a run off for mayor at least.
The undecided vote (over 25 percent) is still larger than the number one candidate in the latest poll as once again the front runner is Christine Quinn with only 25 percent. Anthony Weiner has fallen to fourth place with Bill Thompson and Bill deBlasio both in the high teens a close second and third to Quinn. It is still too close to call as to just who may wind up as the two candidates that will face off in the run off election for mayor, and it is to close to call if the Board of Elections will have the results official (fully counted & correct) in time for the run off election.
It should be easier in the race for comptroller as there are only two candidates: Scott “Mild Mannered” Stringer and Eliot “Client # 9” Spitzer. Kristen “Madame” Davis was recently arrested for selling prescription drugs, and may not get to run in this race as planned. I was hoping for the Madame & the John to battle it out for control of New York City's finances. Spitzer has a slim lead here in the polls, but this one should go down to primary day as Stringer and Spitzer battle it out. One has to think that if Anthony Weiner did not get into the mayors race, that it could have been Eliot Spitzer for Mayor.
In the race to replace current Public Advocate Bill deBlasio his Deputy Public Advocate Reshma Saujani was last in the field of four Democratic candidates. Again here undecided voters is in first place equaling almost the total of all four candidates. Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James and upstart newcomer Cathy Guerriero are within one percentage point. James at 16 percent and Guerriero at 15 percent in the last poll. State Senator Dan Squadron was in third place.
“YES” current Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has a primary this year. I was out on the campaign trail one evening as voters warmly said hello, but many added that they did not know that he was being challenged in the primary this year. Diaz wants every one to know that “YES” he does have a primary election this year.
In City Council Races - 11th District- this race is now down to two candidates Andrew Cohen and Cliff Stanton, even though Stanton's camp is also attacking me as if I am a candidate in the race (see my Riverdale Report elsewhere in this paper).
12th District - Incumbent Andy King should take this one easily.
13th District - Incumbent Jimmy Vacca has no primary.
14th District - Incumbent Fernando Cabrera should win this easily.
15th District – No incumbent, this race is down to 6 candidates. 1 - Albert Alvarez is Chief of staff to out going Councilman Joel Rivera. Alvarez should be the front runner, but he is not used to being in the spotlight. Alvarez is having a hard time explaining what was done in the past 12 years by councilman Joel Rivera, and there is little to take advantage of.
Raquel Batista is a fine hard working community activist & organizer. She would make a fine councilwoman, but may not have enough support in the district. Batista is also nine months pregnant with one month to go in the race.
Rev. Joel Bauza was attacked for preaching anti gay language in his one debate, and was on the defensive most of that debate. Bauza is endorsed by State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr.
Joel R. Rivera has run for the 15th council district before, but is being challenged by other candidates for having the same name as the outgoing councilman. This Joel Rivera works for City Comptroller John Liu, and has been the most vocal in the two 15th council debates.
Cynthia Thompkins did much better in the second debate than the first. She is openly gay, and confronted Rev. Bauza that his preaching is creating more violence towards gay people (a statement that Rev. Bauza denied and invited anyone to come to his church to hear him).
Ritchie Torres has to be the front runner now that Kenny Agosto was knocked off the ballot. Both Torres and Agosto not only live near each other, but come from the Liberty Democratic Association. Torres has worked for Councilman Jimmy Vacca for many years as a housing liaison. Torres has been accused of taking advantage of that inside knowledge and influence in getting an apartment in a supportive housing unit when it went up several years ago. Torres has said that he has lived in poverty, and that his income of $20,000 from Councilman Vacca meets the income eligibility. Torres is still making the same salary years later as he is still living in the same supportive housing unit some of his opponents have pointed out. Torres is supported by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
16th District – No incumbent, but 77th A.D. Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson is the favorite in this rather large crowded field of candidates. Assemblywoman Gibson has the endorsement of the Bronx County Democratic organization which will propel her to victory in this district. It expected that the second place finisher will be Carlos Sierra.
17th District – Incumbent Maria Del Carmen Arroyo will probably win re-election over local community activist Julio Pabon, but it is the infamous Derek Jeter signature on Councilwoman Arroyo's petition that will be remembered most in this election.
18th District – Incumbent Annabel Palma should win re-election over challenger William Moore.
On Sunday August 18th Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj will be hosting International Family Day At Dewitt Clinton High School on the Goulden Avenue side from 12 – 6 p.m.
On Saturday August 24 the Committee of 100 Democrats will be hosting their 9th Annual Free Community Barbecue on East 204th Street beteeen Mosholu Parkway and the Grand Concourse from 1 – 6 PM. You can call Committee of 100 Democrats Chairman Ricky Martinez at 212-470-4784 for more information on the Free Community Barbecue.
Don't forget to check my blog at www.100percentbronx.blogspot.com for more on what you may read in this column, items that may come in after my deadline, and see the many photos of the events that were taken. If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 728-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.