Bronx Political Round Up, 7/30

AM Mark Gjonaj (l); Martin Shkreli (r).

AM Mark Gjonaj (l); Martin Shkreli (r).

NOTE: This post has been updated to note that Bronx Council District 13 candidate Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj did not receive a campaign donation from “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli. He DID not.

Did Gjonaj Accept $1000 From Infamous ‘Pharma Bro’?

Shaking News blog erroneously reported CD13 council candidate Assemblyman “Mark Gjonaj boasts $1,000 contribution from Martin “Pharma Bro” Shkreli.” But campaign spokesperson Jennifer Blatus denies it was donation from the infamous ‘Pharma Bro’ campaign. She says the donation came from a different Martin Shkreli of Westchester County.

Shkreli, the former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO, first gained notoriety for raising the cost of a lifesaving drug 5000 per cent. He is on trial in federal court accused of illegally siphoning money from his biopharmaceuticals firm Retrophin to pay off investors of his failing hedge fund. The NY Post reported that jurors will begin deliberating the eight counts against Shkreli on Monday. Check out the original Shaking News blog report by Jon Reznick here.

Meet ‘The Sheroes of New York’

Last Thursday, the National Women’s Political Caucus launched its SHEROES OF NY campaign at the NY Historical Society. The nonpartisan campaign highlights the women who are running for public office in the upcoming primaries and general elections. The Summer of SHEROES notables include: GOP mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (a former NWPC-NYC prez) and council candidates Tamika Mapp (CD8), Marjorie Velazquez (CD13) and Helen Hines (CD17).

Endorsement Watch Earlier this week, Senator José M. Serrano and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson endorsed Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj for City Council (District 13).

The Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC officially endorsed Randy Abreu for NYC Council in District 14 and Elvin Garcia in District 18 for the September 12 Primary.

Earlier this month, District Council 37 announced that it has endorsed Bronx City Council incumbents: Andrew Cohen (CD 11), Andy King (12), Fernando Cabrera (14), Ritchie Torres (15), Vanessa Gibson (16) and Rafael Salamanca, Jr. (17) for re-election. DC 37 also endorsed challengers Marjorie Velazquez (CD 13) and Amanda Farias (CD 18) as they seek to replace term-limited incumbents Jimmy Vacca and Annabel Palma, respectively. Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez (CD8) was endorsed by the Doctors Council SEIU and the NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association last week.

City Council Forums Set

The Hispanic Federation, Inc. will host the forum in District 8—the seat held by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who is term-limited—which covers El Barrio (East Harlem), Mott Haven, Highbridge, Concourse, Longwood and Port Morris.

Faith in New York will host the event in District 13, the seat currently held by term-limited Bronx Councilman James Vacca that includes the neighborhoods of City Island, Throggs Neck, Morris Park, Pelham Bay and Ferry Point.

Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. will host the forum in District 18, the seat held by term-limited Bronx Councilwoman Annabel Palma that includes Castle Hill, Parkchester, Soundview and Clason Point.

The dates, times and locations of the council forums are still to be determined.

Liberal Party Seeks to Re-establish Permanent Ballot Line

In response to Bronx Chronicle inquiries, the Liberal Party of New York acknowledges that it “does not have a permanent ballot line at this time” and that all of our candidates are petitioning onto the line for the November general election. Party spokesman Evan J. Burr wrote in an email, “We are presently organizing for county committees across New York State, including Bronx county.” The Liberal Party has endorsed Bronx candidates for the City Council, Democrats John Doyle (CD 13) and Michael Beltzer (CD 18).

Correction: Ayala Says She Didn’t Ride in Speaker’s City Vehicle*

In a story earlier this week, the Bronx Chronicle reported a report by that a tipster that CD8 candidate Diana Ayala, who had campaigned with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at the PAtterson Houses Family Day, was seen departing in Speaker Mark-Viverito’s city car. In an email from a campaign spokesperson, Ayala “insists on the record that she drove herself in her own car to this event.”

Top Bronx Political Tweets

Where in the World is Michael Blake?

On Saturday, Assemblyman Michael Blake took in a Yankees game at the Stadium with Queens state Sen. Michael Gianaris.

Democratic party unity! @mets Sen. Gianaris in #TheBronx to hang out w/ a @Yankees fan. Welcome to the Boogiedown.

A post shared by Michael Blake (@mikeblake1922) on

Where The Pols Are, July 30

Sunday, July 30

Governor Andrew Cuomo is in the New York City area.

Mayor de Blasio returns to the New York City from Cambridge, Massachusetts in the afternoon.

12:30 PM Comptroller Stringer will hold a media availability about an alarming new audit of the Department of Education and its contract with the New York City Leadership Academy. 1 Centre Street – South New York, NY

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

2:00 PM Comptroller Scott Stringer participates in the 28th annual Bronx Dominican Day Parade. Grand Concourse and 176th Street, Bronx, NY

Upcoming Political Events

July 31 – CM Andy King joins community protest rally against homeless shelter at 3677 White Plains Road, Bronx. 11 AM.

August 3 – The next public meeting of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB), 2:00 PM. Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J. Board Room of the CFB’s office in Lower Manhattan, at 100 Church Street, on the 12th Floor.

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