Haile Rivera Drops Out of Council Race, Hopes for Job with Obama

Haile Rivera, who once won a dinner with Barack Obama, emailed supporters to say he’s dropping out of the race to unseat City Councilwoman Maria Baez of the Bronx.

“I’ve decided to pursue a position in the administration. Not that there’s an offer, but it’s hard to do two things at the same time,” Rivera told me in a brief telephone interview. “I wanted to be clear on what my intentions were.”

Baez still faces a number of candidates looking to unseat her—fueled in part by her support of former Bronx Democratic leader Jose Rivera, who was ousted in a coup last year. Baez has also been criticized for her performance in the district and at City Hall.

Among the contenders raising money for the race against Baez are Yesenia Polanco, who took a leave from her job as the chief of staff to Councilwoman Annabel Palma of the Bronx, and Yudelka Tapia, who works as an auditor for the city comptroller.