Congressman Charlie Rangel certainly took note of who endorsed him as he fended off a primary challenge from State Senator Adriano Espaillat earlier this year — not only is he backing a challenge to Mr. Espaillat as he seeks reelection in the State Senate, but he’s also reportedly supporting opponents running against Mr. Espaillat’s backers, like Senator Gustavo Rivera. Well, two can play at that game.
Earlier this morning Mr. Espaillat announced he was endorsing Mark Gjonaj, running against incumbent Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera. The endorsement stands out as Ms. Rivera was a prominent supporter of Mr. Rangel’s, even appearing on the front page of The New York Times at his victory party.
“As a long-time leader in our community, nobody has worked harder or delivered more than Mark Gjonaj,” Mr. Espaillat said in a statement. “I need Mark in the State Assembly fighting alongside me as we fight for more affordable housing, safer streets, and the best possible education for our children. Please join me in supporting Mark Gjonaj for State Assembly.”
But Mr. Espaillat’s toes were not the only ones Ms. Rivera stepped on with her congressional endorsements. She also endorsed Councilman Erik Dilan’s challenge to Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, who’s now reportedly out for blood.
“I’m going to go in and I’m going to campaign,” she told the Bronx Times. “I can assure you, that when I come to the Bronx, all those Latinos know who I am. Believe me, those Latinos, they love me!”
Ms. Rivera has plenty of her own support, however, including Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr.
Adam Bermudez and Irene Estrada-Rukaj are joining Mr. Gjonaj in attempting to unseat Ms. Rivera in the September 13th Democratic primary.