Gustavo Rivera, the former Gillibrand aide who is trying to take out coup-instigating state Senator Pedro Espada up in the Bronx has sent a letter to the Civil Rights division at the Department of Justice calling on them to send federal election observers to the Bronx on Primary Day next week.
Writes Rivera: “My request stems from 1) a pattern of incidents and behavior involving the campaign of the incumbent office holder, State Senator Pedro Espada, intended to suppress turnout in this majority minority district as well as 2) concern that the introduction of new optical scan voting technology may disproportionately impact minority voters.”
Espada has been known to have a strained relationship with election law. In July, it was discovered that he sent threatening letters to the homes of those who signed petitions for Rivera. He routinely files his disclosure reports with the Board of Elections late, if he bothers to file them at all.
A spokeswoman at the DOJ said that a decision would be made later in the week if election observers would be sent to the Bronx. In June, election monitors were sent to Texas, California, New Jersey, and South Dakota.
The Rivera campaign has been surging a bit of late. Besides endorsements from most of the local electeds, unions, and newspapers, his fellow primary opponent, Dan Padernacht, has dropped out of the race, giving Rivera a clear shot at Espada.
Full letter below: