Pedro Espada Jr., the former Bronx state Senator, is considering forming an alliance with Bronx Republicans that could lead to his return to public office, according to two people briefed on the plans by Espada.
According to these sources, Espada, who is still a registered Democrat, would help recruit enough county Republican committee members to oust current Bronx GOP leader Jay Savino and install someone else.
That new borough-wide infrastructure would then help Espada run for elected office, like the Borough Presidency, which has been talked about recently.
Not that a Republican would have much chance running for countywide office in the overwhelmingly Democratic Bronx. But Espada’s move is an telling statement about the state of the county Democratic Party.
“My god, the political machine is falling apart,” said one person briefed on the plans by Espada. “And he personally thought that it would never happen.”
This development comes after Espada’s staff and organization were accused of misusing public money, and his archrivals, state Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. and his son, Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr., are now reportedly under federal investigation for voter fraud.
At least one person seems receptive to the plan, though. “I would love and encourage anyone to get involved in Bronx Republican politics,” said Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino.
“As for a coup,” he said, “I’ve heard nothing of the sort.”
– Azi Paybarah