Who From the Bronx Will Emerge Victorious in the September 10th Primaries?

By Rob Giuffre on September 6th, 2013 4:52PM

Kathy Warner/Flickr

The Bronx will have many political races with far reaching ramifications this Tuesday, Primary Day. Of course there are the city-wide races for Mayor, Comptroller and Public Advocate.  

There are also some intriguing local races, most notable: City Council Districts 11, 15, 16 and 17 and a special election for State Assembly District 86.

MAYOR:  The Bronx Democratic Party has endorsed Bill Thompson. However, it looks like new Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda might get the spoils of victory if frontrunner Bill de Blasio ends up in City Hall.  

Sepulveda was a very early endorser of de Blasio and has been tweeting and facebooking constantly from subway stations, meet and greets and even backstage at the Mayor’s debate.  

Should de Blasio win, Sepulveda will immediately find his political capital dramatically increased.  

Borough President Diaz Jr. and Democratic Party Chair Carl Heastie have thrown their support behind Bill Thompson.  

State Senator Gustavo Rivera decided to throw his support behind Christine Quinn, and this choice looks more foolish as she drops steadily in the polls; the only explanation must be found in some sort of deal worked out between the Council Speaker and Senator Rivera.  

Overall, Assemblyman Sepulveda looks like he will emerge as the biggest winner in The Bronx this cycle if de Blasio can close the deal (which is a big if should there be a runoff election).  

Bill de Blasio will come in first place, but not by large enough of a margin to avoid a runoff with Bill Thompson.  

Thompson who has tons of institutional support in the form of unions, elected officials and county machines will get out just enough voters to force a runoff election and will win the Bronx by a comfortable margin.

PREDICTION: De Blasio 36%; Thompson 24%; Quinn 22%; Weiner 10%; Liu 6%; Salgado 1%; Albanese 1%

COMPTROLLER: Eliot Spitzer will make almost every elected official in the Bronx besides Assemblyman Jose Rivera look stupid in the comptroller’s race.  

While Stringer and Spitzer are close in the polls, Spitzer will win by a comfortable margin due to his huge advantage among African American voters.  

In the Bronx, Riverdale will come out for Stringer due to the Ben Franklin Democratic Club, but the rest of the borough will be a toss-up.  Stringer may very well win the Bronx, but Spitzer will crush him in Harlem and Brooklyn.  

Assemblyman Jose Rivera will get a little more pep in his step and find new life and former Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera will find a nice new job working for Comptroller Spitzer.

PREDICTION: Spitzer 58%; Stringer 42%

PUBLIC ADVOCATE:  What can we say about the public advocate race?  No one really cares?  It is a useless office?  

Besides for that, the Bronx Democratic Party has endorsed Letitia James (we think), although tepidly and without much overt action.   

This race will come down between Councilwoman Letitia James and Cathy Guerriero.  Dan Squadron is going through the motions, testing the water to see if he has city-wide appeal (which he doesn’t) and Reshma Saujan  just isn’t getting any traction and should consider running for a lower office that she could actually win.  

This is a race where many voters will make up their mind in the voting booth and will vote for the name they most relate.  Because of this, I think Cathy Guerriero wins in a close race.  Ms. James will win the Bronx.  

PREDICTION: Guerriero: 32%; James 31%; Squadron 27%; Saujan 10%   Bronx
Borough President: Borough President Diaz is taking this primary as an opportunity to rehearse for a future city-wide run.  He has pulled no punches: sending out mail, producing TV commercials and working his army of staffers and volunteers.   

His opponent, Mr. Mark Bey, a former Democratic Party District leader is a gentleman and a kind soul.  He should run for a smaller office one day in the future.

PREDICTION: Diaz 88%; Bey 12%  

District 11: Cliff Stanton faces Party and Establishment backed Andy Cohen for the battle to replace Councilman Oliver Koppell.   

Stanton has gained enough late endorsements to make a race of it, and has displayed his capacity as an aggressive campaigner.  But the institutional support given to Cohen from the Ben Franklin Democratic Club and the monetary support from “Jobs for NY” will be too much to overcome.

Stanton has made many enemies in his race but has displayed courage and fortitude that is a breath of fresh air for the borough.  He was by no means an easy out.

PREDICTION: Cohen 62%; Stanton 38%

District 15: Yet another race where the Real Estate Board of New York’s super PAC “Jobs for New York” will be the difference maker.  

“Jobs for New York” has spent over $200,000 on mailers and bodies for frontrunner Ritchie Torres, a 24 year old staffer for Councilman James Vacca.  

This expenditure from Jobs for New York will end up being more than the Torres campaign spends in whole, including NYC matching funds.  

Albert Alvarez started way too late and seems like he had little fight in him.  

Cynthia Thompkins, the most qualified candidate in the race, is a political newbie and never really put together a functional campaign.  

Raquel Batista – rumored to be placed in the race by her boyfriend, Senator Gustavo Rivera  to drain female votes  — is not doing much besides being a female and a Latina.  

Joel R. Rivera is alienating a lot of people and is his worst enemy.  

Joel Bauza, we have no idea why he is running or why Senator Diaz Senior is support him — most likely due to church related politics.  

Torres will win this race, but only because of the lack of a formidable challenger and because voter turnout is so very low in this district.  

The $500,000 being put into this campaign on Torres’ behalf will be too much to overcome.

PREDICTION: Torres 26%; Alvarez 20%; Rivera 18%; Thompkins 17%; Bauzer 11%; Batista 8%

District 16: In a very crowded race, Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson will be demoted (or promoted) to the City Council. Again, “Jobs for New York” will be the difference maker.  

In addition, bodies on Election Day will help carry Gibson to victory.  

PREDICTION: Gibson wins with, like, ehhhh, 31% of the vote.

District 17: Let’s put it this way: it’s a shame Julio Pabon will have to wait until 2017 to get elected to City Council.  

Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo with her equally ethically challenged mother, Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo

Pabon had Maria Del Carmen Arroyo on the ropes earlier in the summer over petition fraud and came *this close* to knocking her off the ballot and winning by default.  

However, Arroyo managed to get on the ballot by making party attorney Stanley Schlein earn his money and privileges.  

If a challenger had the same errors that Arroyo had on their petitions, they would have been kicked off the ballot, no questions asked.  

The only reason why Arroyo will win is due to incumbent advantage, low-turnout and low information voters.  

Pabon will do well and will set the stage for a future run.

PREDICTION: Arroyo 54%; Pabon 46%

District 86: This is the toughest race to predict.  

The Democratic Party has endorsed a name, but no one really knows anything else about this person.  I have to admit a lack of objectivity in this race and just say that I hope Haile Rivera manages to outfox everyone and pulls off a victory.

A former Obama staffer, Haile Rivera is a competent, honest straight shooter.  

PREDICTION:  Rivera 24%; Pichardo 23%; Tapia 22%; Ramirez 17%; Nunez 14%

Well, there you have it.  My objective opinion on election 2013.  Of course, you know what they say about opinions.  

Welcome2TheBronx would like to welcome Rob Giuffre on board as our first contributor / writer! Every Tuesday, starting September 17th, you can expect to read Rob’s political insights on what’s going on in the world of Bronx politics. Show some love for his first of what we hope to be many contributions!

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