Political Arena

Cabrera to face three challengers in re-election bid


Councilman Fernando Cabrera, first elected to the council’s 14th seat in 2010, will face three primary challengers in his upcoming re-election bid for a third and final term.

He does so, however, after losing again to state Sen. Gustavo Rivera in a primary race for the 33rd senate seat last September. 

Cabrera lost the heated race — in which the candidates traded insults and comparisons to then Republican nominee Donald Trump — by a 25-point margin. It was a wider loss than the 2014 result when Rivera captured 60 percent of the vote, and Cabrera told a newspaper he blamed “the liberal media” for the loss. 

The candidates who have officially declared as Cabrera’s challengers are former Obama appointee in the U.S. Energy Department Randy Abreu, as well as Justin Sanchez and Felix Perdomo. 

All four potential Democratic nominees are expected to go before members of the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club on April 6 to petition one the most influential Bronx groups for an endorsement. 


Candidate claims too much cash

Little can be found about Justin Sanchez on his campaign website. According to his Twitter account, however, he is a community activist and “concerned citizen.”

He’s also made social media claims to have raised $17,000 in 10 days as of the first mandatory candidate campaign filing date on March 14. And that’s (mostly) true.

Sanchez raised $14,532 in the first 10 days of the month, according to the Campaign Finance Board, as well as $1,141 on March 11 and $1,131 throughout the month of February. 

In total, Sanchez raised $16,804, which is no small feat for a first-time candidate — especially considering he raised $800 more than Randy Abreu, a challenger with a bit more government experience.

But it is a bit of a stretch. And it appears only 28 of his 165 donors — almost all of who are individuals — live in the Bronx.


Klein co-sponsors health care bill 

State Sen. Jeffrey Klein announced his support for the New York Health Bill last week, adding with him the support of all eight members of the Independent Democratic Conference. 

The bill, which has passed the Assembly several times, would provide a single-payer health care system for New Yorkers, but has never made it past the Republican-controlled senate.
In light of the failure by congressional Republicans in Washington to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a Klein staffer said the IDC leader planned to help the New York Health Bill pass in Albany by signing as a co-sponsor.

 “I join the people of New York in breathing a collective sigh of relief as the Affordable Care Act remains intact,” Klein said in a statement. 

The support of Klein and the IDC may actually give the universal health care bill a fighting chance through the IDC’s informal coalition with Republicans.

Public Meetings

On April 6, three public meetings take place at the same time. 

First, Community Board 8’s parks and recreation committee will hold a special meeting in the teen lounge of The Riverdale Y, 5625 Arlington Ave., at 7 p.m.

At the same time, The Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club will meet at Tibbett Towers, 3130 Irwin Ave., to consider endorsements in the upcoming city council elections.

 Then at 7:30 p.m., the Riverdale Nature Preservancy will meet at the Riverdale Neighborhood House, located at 5521 Mosholu Ave., with guest speaker Councilman Andrew Cohen to discuss environmental policy issues.