If Carrion Goes: Ruben Diaz Jr., Joel Rivera

Now that Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion is leaving his post early next year to be the director of the Obama administration's Office of Urban Policy, his successor will most likely be determined by a special election in sometime in the spring.

So who will it be?

Since Carrion was going to run for comptroller, there are already a number of candidates organizing a campaign.

Leading the pack is Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr., who has raised $141,156 according to his January campaign filing.

There’s also City Councilman Joel Rivera, who has an even larger war chest, with  $207,451. But Rivera’s candidacy may suffer from the recent coup against his father, former Bronx Democratic County Jose Rivera, who was ousted by a faction led by Diaz.

In a brief telephone chat just now, Diaz said, “I’m concentrating on making sure I get my message out to Bronxites.”  He declined to comment on the impact an abbreviated campaign season may have on the race.

“I’m concerned about what it is I need to do to be the next borough president,” he said. He said he is still interviewing prospective staff, and aside from a treasurer, he has no campaign employees.

Also worth keeping in mind: if Carrion is confirmed, what happens to the $2 million he raised for his city comptroller race?

A spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

UPDATE: A reader who questioned the process for filling a borough-president vacancy noted that when Bronx Borough President Stanley Simon left his seat early before a corruption scandal in 1987, his replacement, Fernando Ferrer, was installed by the City Council.

But since that time, the law has been changed and the position is now supposed to be filled by a special election. Whenever the seat is vacated, a special election has to be held about 45 days later, according to attorney Jerry Goldfeder, who literally wrote the book on this stuff.

If Carrion Goes: Ruben Diaz Jr., Joel Rivera