Assemblyman Guillermo Linares announced his candidacy for State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s seat last night, making it clear he was willing to run against Mr. Espaillat even if the state senator loses his congressional bid, but Mr. Espaillat didn’t seem especially worried about the competition when asked about the prospect earlier this afternoon.
“This is a democracy and I hope he made that decision because he’s very convinced that I’m going to win this race,” Mr. Espaillat told The Politicker after he received the endorsement of Freddy Ferrer.
Mr. Linares would obviously be aided by having Mr. Espaillat leaving his seat vacant by winning his congressional campaign, but Mr. Espaillat looks likely to support his 2010 opponent Mark Levine for his seat. If Mr. Linares were to retaliate and get behind Mr. Espaillat’s main opponent, incumbent Rep. Charlie Rangel, however, he’d complicate his campaign for a state senate seat likely to strongly support Mr. Espaillat for Congress. Highlighting his interesting political position further, Mr. Linares attended Mr. Rangel’s campaign launch, but did not offer an endorsement.
“He’s pondering a decision,” Mr. Espaillat said when asked about Mr. Linares’ endorsement silence thus far in the congressional race. “I look forward to having him on board.”
Watch Mr. Espaillat explain the situation below: