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BY BOB KAPPSTATTER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
MAY 12, 2011

Bill Samuels, whose New Roosevelt Initiative helped defeat dat Wascally Wabbit, west Bronx state Sen. Pedro Espada, broke some political news last Thursday at the Ben Franklin Dem club’s annual dinner.

Samuels, one of the evening’s honorees, told the Riverdale club he’s backing Public Advocate Bill de Blasio for mayor.

Both Samuels and de Blasio are like-minded souls when it comes to believing in redistricting – coming up this year – by an independent commission.

The upstate plastics manufacturer spent almost 200G on mail pieces, phone calls and a canvassing team to help defeat incumbent majority leader Pedro, swamped 2-1 by challenger Gustavo Rivera.

Samuels’ support gives de Blasio a boost in an already crowded field gearing up for the 2013 mayoral race. Wanna-bes Controller John Liu and Manhattan BP Scott Stringer (and a maybe – BP Ruben Diaz Jr.) showed up briefly to glad-hand the room, while de Blasio stayed for dinner.

Needless to say, the 300-member club can be a valuable political friend, delivering, as Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz noted, a lotta “challenge-proof petitions.”

<div>Thursday, May 12, 2011<a href=”http://www.newrooseveltinitiative.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/New_York_Daily_News_logo.png”><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-1351″ title=”New_York_Daily_News_logo” src=”http://www.newrooseveltinitiative.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/New_York_Daily_News_logo-300×29.png” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”29″ /></a></div>
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