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Saturday, November 22, 2014
Political Arena

Cabrera: I’ve brought home the bacon more than Rivera

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted

Councilman Fernando Cabrera has been mum about a possible run against state Sen. Gustavo Rivera since Mr. Cabrera quietly launched a committee to explore the possibility last month.

But during an impromptu interview at City Hall last week, Mr. Cabrera gave comments suggesting funding for the community will be a key focus of his campaign.

“I’m the only one bringing funding into the district at this point,” Mr. Cabrera said on Feb. 28. “I brought in over $30 million in four years. Gustavo hasn’t brought a dollar.”

State Senators lack the discretionary funds that city council members receive from their speaker. But a spokeswoman for Mr. Rivera said the lawmaker has, in fact, brought funding to the 33rd senate district, which overlaps with Mr. Cabrera’s 14th city council district. She pointed to $6 million in capital funds that went into transforming the Fulton Correctional Facility in Morrisania as an example.

Speaking in City Hall’s committee room last Friday, Mr. Cabrera also said he was pleased at the number of people and the “network of grassroots efforts” that have encourage him to run for state Senate, although he said he would unveil details over the coming weeks.

The councilman added that jobs will also be a key focus of his campaign.

“There are many other things I can’t wait to share,” Mr. Cabrera said. “But right now I’m focusing on meeting with people and leaders in the community.”

IDC launches full-court press

State Sen. Co-Majority Leader Jeff Klein and fellow members of his breakaway faction of Democrats have walked a fine line between coming off as pragmatists and appearing to be traitors to other Democrats since Mr. Klein formed a power sharing coalition with Republicans in December 2012.

A series of developments over the past week suggest Mr. Klein is seeking to strengthen his Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) as he comes up for reelection himself.

Last week, Queens Democrat Tony Avella announced he will join the IDC, boosting the group’s ranks to five total members.

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