Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, whose mother lived for years at the Amalgamated Housing Cooperative, is a familiar face at the four high-rises just south of Van Cortlandt Park.
He used that recognition to open about two dozen apartment doors on a recent campaign stop with state Sen. Adriano Espaillat. Mr. Espaillat is looking to the Bronx part of the 13th congressional district, which mostly covers Upper Manhattan, as a bastion of support in his bid to unseat Rep. Charles Rangel in the upcoming Democratic primary.
“Hello, Mr. Dreyfuss? This is Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz,” Mr. Dinowitz said after knocking at a 12th-floor apartment at 3975-77 Sedgwick Ave.
The resident showed no hesitation opening the door to Mr. Dinowitz, who was dressed in a suit without the jacket on. It turned out David Dreyfuss and the assemblyman had children who had played on the same baseball team.
Mr. Espaillat, sporting a navy blue suit, interjected during their reminiscing to state he is running for Congress. After giving Mr. Dreyfuss a flyer with information on the June 24 primary, the officials made their way to another address on their list of highly active Democratic voters.
Once the politicians moved on, Mr. Dreyfuss said he had known Mr. Espaillat by name prior to the campaign stop.
“I have confidence in his recommendations,” Mr. Dreyfuss said of Mr. Dinowitz, who formally endorsed Mr. Espaillat earlier this month.
The Amalgamated Houses, which were founded in 1927 for people in a garment workers union, have long been considered a politically active enclave. They are friendly turf for Mr. Espaillat, who is seeking to mobilize voters to show up at the primary after anemic turnout in 2012, when he nearly beat Mr. Rangel.
Still, it appeared Mr. Espaillat had work to do before winning over everyone on his list. On the fourth floor, Chuck Baroo had a lot of questions for the man who would represent him in Congress.
“What about the park, Van Cortlandt Park? Is federal money going into that?” the resident asked.