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New Roosevelt Initiative praises Bronx local Democratic Club for overwhelming endorsing Democratic challenger Rivera for State Senate; Disgraced incumbent Espada receives zero votes in rebuke

NEW YORK – Bill Samuels and the New Roosevelt Initiative praised the decision by the Bronx-based Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club for overwhelmingly endorsing Democratic candidate Gustavo Rivera in his primary challenge to unseat disgraced incumbent State Senator Pedro Espada. Samuels addressed club members last night and called the club’s strong endorsement of Rivera and rebuke of Espada a historic step in this year’s most important State Senate race and demonstrates that party activists are fed up with corruption in Albany.

The local Democratic Club met Tuesday night and after hearing all the primary candidates, except Espada, who was a no show at the meeting, voted to endorse Rivera by 82%. The next closest candidate received 18%. Espada received no votes.

“I am happy that Bronx party activists are throwing their support behind the reform candidate, Rivera and rejecting the cynical, self-interested politics of Espada,” Samuels said. “Rivera is the true reform candidate in the race and the best person to unseat Espada and send a message to Albany that reform issues need to be at the top of the agenda in the State Senate.”

Samuels and the New Roosevelt Initiative have made the defeat of Pedro Espada their first and highest priority in the long term effort to bring true reform to Albany and create the best state legislature in the nation.   To support Rivera, New Roosevelt will continue to build a strong grassroots operation in the district, and build a broad coalition of like minded progressive groups who will bring added strength and expertise to the campaign.

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