Rivera Has $64k to Take On Espada

With just under a month until the primary, Gustavo Rivera has about $64,000 on hand to challenge state Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr., according to the latest campaign filings.

Rivera raised more than $61,000 since the July deadline, which came a few days after local activist Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter dropped out of the race. Rivera’s haul is seven times more than Espada raised in the same period–with Esapada collecting 3 individual donations, to Rivera’s 77.

“It’s very much a grassroots insurgent movement and the support we’re getting reflects that,” said Rivera’s campaign manager, Horacio Gutierrez.

Whether it’s enough to overcome Espada’s stockpile, and Rivera’s relative anonymity in the district, remains to be seen. Liz Benjamin reports this morning that while internal polls show voters tilt toward a negative view of Espada, a majority of them don’t yet know who Rivera is.

In addition to Espada’s name recognition–nearly 80 percent of constituents know him, for better or worse–the senator has more than $317,000 in cash on hand. And he may have additional funds in an affiliated campaign account that hasn’t reported its numbers, according to a story this morning in City Hall News.

Rivera’s deficit will be mitigated by the $250,000 that Bill Samuels’s New Roosevelt Initiative has pledged to spend. NRI’s effort–which has made Espada its primary target in a campaign to clean up Albany–can help drive the criticisms of Espada, and it can help get out anti-Espada voters, but can’t directly coordinate with Rivera’s campaign. (Espada has already filed a complaint alleging coordination between the two.)

Samuels made a strident anti-Espada argument at a fundraiser in Manhattan last month, and Rivera’s filing shows a progressive Manhattan bent. The latest filing counts as many donors on Park Avenue (five) as it does in the Bronx.

Also notable: Organized labor gave Rivera more than $20,000 this period, and associates of state Senator Liz Krueger continued their generous support. The senator’s parents gave a combined $3,000 this period–after giving a combined $9,000 in the last filing (her husband gave $4,500 too)–and her campaign committee, Friends of Liz Krueger, gave $6,000.

Rivera Has $64k to Take On Espada