Bronx Primary Results: No Surprises, Salamanca Wins Again

As expected incumbent Bronx state legislators easily won last night. Jose Rivera, Carmen Arroyo, Marcos Crespo, Luis Sepulveda, and Victor Pichardo will be returning to the State Assembly. Rivera successfully beat back a challenge by Ischia Bravo, the former executive director of the Bronx Democratic County Committee. And “Ol’ Landslide” Pichardo increased his victory margin from two votes in 2014 to nearly 1,400 this this over — now three-time loser — Hector Ramirez, who appeared in court yesterday to answer charges on 242-count indictment on voter fraud.

Diaz_SalamancaNewly minted City Councilman Rafael Salamanca, Jr.–who won a special election last February to replace Maria del Carmen Arroyo–easily cruised to victory over Helen Hines, 62 – 38 percent. Salamanca will have to win again in November in his quest to complete Arroyo’s unexpired term which runs through 2017. Councilman Salamanca will have to run again next year for his own four-year term. Six elections in an 18-months span. Wow!

In what had to be ugliest and costliest election battle, Senator Gustavo Rivera once again soundly defeated City Councilman Rev. Fernando Cabrera in the 33rd Senate District. During a televised debate Rivera attacked Cabrera with accusations of being anti-LGBT, being in league with Republicans, and being a pawn of wealthy hedge fund managers. That race boiled down to a proxy fight in the school reform war. The Fund for Great Public Schools, a teachers union backed SuperPAC, spent tens of thousands of dollars backing Senator Rivera. Another independent expenditure (or IE) group, New Yorkers for Independent Action weighed in on behalf of CM Cabrera who is a staunch supporter of school choice, charter schools and education tax credits for individuals and corporations that donate to public, private and parochial schools.

First-time candidate Jamaal Bailey won in the 36th Senate District, which spans the North Bronx and Mt. Vernon in Westchester County. Baikey earned over 53 percent of the vote against a crowded field which included Rev. Ed Mulraine and Rev. Que English. Bailey’s victory is also seen as evidence of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie growing political influence and power downstate. Bailey had worked in Heastie’s Assembly office since his days as a college intern through law school.

Maverick Senator Rubén Díaz, Sr. easily defeated his nemesis Elliot Quiñones to take the 32nd Senate District, again.

The much criticized Bronx Democratic County Committee won all of the marquee match-ups, only losing one or two district leader and state committee contests. District leader and state committee are unpaid party positions but are key access points in terms of understanding the Democratic party machinery and running for public office.

Because of the borough’s heavy Democratic voter registration, Tuesday’s primary was tantamount to re-election as last night’s winners will be easily elected in November.

Check out the NYC Board of Elections unofficial results bt clicking here.

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