A slew of progressive elected officials announced their support today for Gustavo Rivera, who is challenging Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. in the Bronx.
Ousting Espada is seen by many in the party as a necessary act of housekeeping–given the senator’s ethical entanglements–and today’s list includes a variety of Democratic electeds: Borough President Scott Stringer, state Senator Liz Krueger, Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell, and six council members from Manhattan and Brooklyn–Margaret Chin, Daniel Dromm, Daniel Garodnick, Brad Lander, Jessica Lappin and Jumaane Williams.
Least surprising might be Krueger, whose parents, husband, and campaign committee have been among Rivera’s biggest donors. “I would be proud to serve alongside Gustavo Rivera in the State Senate,” Krueger said in the statement. “Over the last decade I have seen Gustavo grow as a progressive leader in his community and I have no doubt that he will serve his constituents in the 33rd District with the strength and integrity that they deserve.”
(Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander has also contributed; he gave $200 last week.)
Today’s supporters join a group that has coalesced around Rivera over the past month, which includes the Working Families Party and the New Roosevelt Initiative, along with a number of unions and political clubs.
Here are all the statements from the press release:
Gustavo Rivera said:“I am proud and humbled to receive support from some of New York’s most effective and progressive legislators and elected leaders. Each has served their constituents with integrity and devoted energy. Our community deserves no less.”
Borough President Scott Stringer said: “Gustavo is the next generation of leadership we need. He has the smarts, the experience, and the integrity to take on the special interests that dominate the debate in Albany. As an aide to Senator Gillibrand and a professor of political science, Gustavo has shown his commitment to public service and to his community. Gustavo will never forget who he is fighting for.”
Senator Liz Krueger said: “I would be proud to serve alongside Gustavo Rivera in the State Senate. Over the last decade I have seen Gustavo grow as a progressive leader in his community and I have no doubt that he will serve his constituents in the 33rd District with the strength and integrity that they deserve.”
Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell said: “Gustavo Rivera represents the kind of honest leadership that we need in Albany. As an educator and as a community organizer, Gustavo has proven that he has the skills to represent his community and fight for working families.”
Council Member Jumaane D. Williams said: “I am very proud to endorse Gustavo Rivera for State Senate. He is a man dedicated to fighting for the rights of the people and with his background in education; I know he is passionate about cultivating the minds of the residents in his community. This passion will benefit the people of New York State as whole. His progressive ideals along with his integrity will make him an invaluable asset as a Senator.”
Council Member Brad Lander said: “Gustavo Rivera will be a smart, energetic, ethical, progressive addition to the State Senate. His election is a top priority for progressives around the state. I am honored to endorse him.”
Council Member Daniel Dromm said: “In times like these, we badly need new leadership in Albany that will fight for jobs and put the community first. Gustavo Rivera has spent the last ten years fighting for the Bronx and he’s got what it takes to give this district the representation it deserves.”
Councilmember Jessica Lappin said: “The Bronx needs honest leadership and public servants who will put the needs of their community first. Gustavo has the integrity, the smarts, and the leadership to fight for this district in Albany.”
Councilmember Daniel Garodnick said: “Gustavo Rivera has spent his whole life working for his community and he represents a new generation of leaders we need. As a community organizer, as a teacher, and as a leader, Gustavo has demonstrated commitment and integrity to this district. I am proud to stand with his campaign for change.”
Council Member Margaret Chin said: “I’m proud to endorse Gustavo Rivera. A committed activist, Rivera will bring exactly the kind of energy we need to our State Senate. Having worked to elect Barack Obama President and for our own Senator Gillibrand here in New York, Gustavo is a true progressive New Yorker. From coming through on our party’s promise to finally expand tenant’s rights, to supporting marriage equality, Rivera will finally bring some sanity to the dysfunction of Albany.”