State Sen. Adriano Espaillat been a state legislator since 1997, first as a member of the Assembly representing part of upper Manhattan and currently as a state senator representing the 31st District, which stretches along the Hudson from Riverdale to 59th Street. He’s the only Latino candidate in the Latino-majority district. He is currently the ranking Democrat in the state Senate’s housing committee. Mr. Espaillat has made it clear that he’s a “proud Democrat” and wants to “take back Congress” rather than compromise with Republicans.
What you should know
Mr. Espaillat directed taxpayer money to the nonprofit through member items and it employed his sister-in-law, his assembly district leader and several of his campaign staffers.
He has employed the Mirram Group, run by Robert Ramirez, the former leader of the Bronx Democratic Party and founder/publisher of the Bronx Free Press and Manhattan Times, as a campaign consultant.
What about the Bronx?
Mr. Espaillat opened a campaign office on Kingsbridge Road. He said recently that he thinks the Bronx is going to help carry him to victory. He currently represents a good portion of Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil and has made many friends with local politicians (see below). He only showed up to one of the two Bronx debates.
Who wants him to win?
Mr. Espaillat has support from the New York Post, El Diario and the Riverdale Review. Perhaps his biggest endorsement, though, comes from Transport Workers Union Local 100. He also has a good amount of support in the Bronx, including from local political powerhouse, the Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club, Councilman Oliver Koppell, state Sen. Gustavo Rivera and former Bronx Borough Presidents Fernando Ferrer and Adolfo Carrion. He befriended popular local electeds Mr. Koppell, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Rep. Eliot Engel, though the latter two have not yet endorsed personally in this race. The men did not dare to endorse against Mr. Rangel, who received the backing of the Bronx Democratic County Committee, though both were instrumental in getting Mr. Espaillat votes in Riverdale during his state Senate campaign in 2010.
“I think change is in the air … I think it’s time to bring a bold new vision to Congress,” Mr. Espaillat said at the Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club on May 29.