Bronx Political Round-Up, July 17

Nominating Petitions Filed

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and his family stand by as his son, Nicholas, adds his signature to the stack of designating petitions. (L-R) Roza Gjonaj, Joseph Gjonaj (16), Nicholas Gjonaj (18), Assemblyman Gjonaj, Roberta Gonaj.

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and his family stand by as his son, Nicholas, adds his signature to the stack of designating petitions. (L-R) Roza Gjonaj, Joseph Gjonaj (16), Nicholas Gjonaj (18), Assemblyman Gjonaj, Roberta Gonaj.

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj’s campaign for City Council delivered 6,094 petition signatures to the Board of Elections. His number tops State Sen. Ruben Diaz’s claim of over 4500 petition signatures collected by his team in his Council bid. Also, first-time Michael Beltzer claimed he submitted over nine times the 450 signatures needed to appear on the ballot for the September 12th Democratic contest in CD 18. Alas, petition signatures, like posters, don’t win elections.

Midnight Thursday, July 13 was the filing deadline for candidates to get their bound and paginated petition volumes to the offices of the City Board of Elections.

Political poser Gonzalo Duran did not make good on his promise to run for City Council against CM Ritchie Torres in CD15. (In a Facebook text message, Duran said that he planned to continue as a write-in candidate.) Likewise, perennial candidate John Perez dropped his announced bid in CD 18.

Sen. Diaz Declines Unauthorized Republican Party Petitions

Conservative Democratic state Sen. Diaz discovered that someone in the Bronx Republican Party circulated unauthorized nominating petitions in the name of Ruben M. Diaz residing at 1600 Metropolitan Avenue.

Bronx GOP chairman Michael Rendino took responsibility for the snafu texting that “it was a miscommunication with one of my district leaders” owing to an effort to decentralize local decision-making by party leaders. Rendino noted that Sen. Diaz filed a certificate of declination.

Diaz, registered Democrat, has run with both party designations in past state senate elections.

Fundraising Reports Due Monday

Tomorrow, July 17 is the deadline for filing campaign fundraising and spending disclosures across New York State. Candidates running for office in NYC must also make their disclosures to the NYC Campaign Finance Board which posts the reports online through the day and days afterward.

Some political observers judge the vitality and viability of campaigns by the strength of candidates’ fundraising efforts.

As of Friday, July 14, only a handful of campaigns in the Bronx and across the city had filed disclosures statement.

• Bronx Borough President candidate Camella Price only collected $715 in donations but spent $1,514 this reporting period. Price, who faces an uphill fight and has the Reform Party endorsement for November, has raised a paltry $5742, plus only $2640 in matching claims.
• Republican John Cerini (CD 13) collected $14,520 and spent $8,005 for the period. Cerini has raised $32,760 with $18,940 in matching claims and $23,497 unspent.
• District 15 challenger Jayson Cancel has raised $0 in his bid to unseat West Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres.
• Helen Foreman-Hines who is making her third run in District 17 netted contributions totaling $2,720 while running up $7,367 in expenses this filing period.
• South Bronx Councilman Rafael Salamanca, Jr. (CD17) filed early showing that between May and July, he raised over $60,000 for a war chest of over $195,000 with $175,000 unspent.
• Nicole Malliotakis, the presumptive GOP candidate for Mayor reported raising $249,797 and spending $68,527 from May 12 – July 11. The campaign reports having over $275K cash on hand, plus almost $135K in public matching claims.
• Michel Faulkner, GOP candidate for City Comptroller raised and spent $15,665 and $17,631, respectively, during the recent period. Overall, Faulkner has raised $251,184 and spent $341,880, leaving his campaign with a deficit over $90K.
• Dr. Cary Goodman, who runs the 161st Street BID in the Bronx, is running for Council District 6 on Manhattan’s West Side, raised only $940 this period to bring his fundraising total to $11,214, plus $6192 in matching claims.

NYC Campaign Finance Board Top 10 Small Donors Leader Board

Ahead of Monday’s disclosure reports, the NYC Campaign Finance Board tweeted a chart showing that two candidates for mayor (Mayor de Blasio and AM Nicole Mallotakis) and three challengers in the Bronx District 14 (Justin Sanchez, Randy Abreu and Felix Perdomo) are among those with the most small donors.

Endorsement Watch

The Bronx Democratic County Committee endorsed Mayor Bill de Blasio on the steps of the Bronx County Building on the Grand Concourse on Saturday. National Latino’s Officers Association announced its endorsement of Elvin Garcia for City Council District 18. Julio Diaz, the group’s president, said they are enthusiastically behind Garcia, and look forward to working with him “to build a better more sustainable future.”

Top Bronx Political Tweets

Where in the World is Michael Blake? The 79th Assembly District’s peripatetic assemblyman was in Morrisania and Harlem with Bronx Young Democrats and NYS Young Democrats in support of the DNC’s Resistance Summer.

Where The Pols Are, July 16

Sunday, July 16

Governor Andrew Cuomo is in Hamilton County, Warren County and the New York City area.

8:30 AM Comptroller Scott Stringer delivers remarks at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church Sunday Worship. Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, 212 Tompkins Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

10:00AM Rep. Eliot Engel discusses #Russia and more on CSPAN

1:00PM Bronx BP Ruben Diaz hosts Bronx Summer Concert Series. Orchard Beach, Main Stage, Section 9. 1-3:00PM

Upcoming Political Events

July 17 – Council candidate Randy Abreu leads a speak-out protest and rally in front of Councilman Fernando Cabrera’s district office. 107 East Burnside Avenue, Bronx 10458. 12 noon.

July 17 – Candidate for NYC Public Advocate J.C. Polanco will be joined by New York State Reform Party Chairman and anti-crime activist Curtis Sliwa to announce a proposal addressing violent crime and individuals with serious mental illness. On the steps of City Hall, Manhattan. 10:00 AM

July 17 – NYC Council Member Andy King and local residents will speak at the Baychester Square (a large-scale retail development) Public Hearing. City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan. 10:30 AM

July 20 – Bronx Democratic County Committee annual gala, Marina del Rey, Bronx. 6-11PM.

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