The Rev. Al Sharpton drew a large contingent of elected officials to his annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at National Action Network’s House of Justice. Headliners included U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler, Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke and Carolyn Maloney. NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Council Speaker and Acting Public Advocate Corey Johnson, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and NYS Senate Temporary President and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also spoke.
Several of the public advocate candidates participated, including Assembly Members Latrice Walker, Michael Blake and Danny O’Donnell, Council Members Jumaane Williams and Rafael Espinal, former Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Dawn Smalls. Walker, Blake, O’Donnell and Smalls were given speaking slots. Former mayor David Dinkins and former congressman Charles Rangel appeared, sitting onstage in the front row for the full program.
Governor Andrew Cuomo marked his primary victory over Cynthia Nixon and the start of the general election campaign with a Midtown rally featuring a large group of Democratic elected officials and candidates. Headlined by Cuomo and running mate Kathy Hochul, attendees included New York City’s three citywide elected officials, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate and attorney general candidate Tish James and Comptroller Scott Stringer, as well as Council Speaker Corey Johnson. House members attending included Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Hakeem Jeffries, Joe Crowley, Jose Serrano, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Yvette Clarke, Adriano Espaillat and Tom Suozzi.
Some of the successful challengers to state senate IDC members attended, including Alessandra Biaggi who defeated IDC leader Jeff Klein and Robert Jackson. Notable candidates not spotted included Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated Rep. Joe Crowley in the June primary, and incumbent NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Additionally, Cuomo’s and Hochul’s primary challengers Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams did not attend.
Today’s Three Kings Day Parade featured five elected officials; Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, NYS Senator Jose M. Serrano and NYS Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez. Marking the Feast of the Epiphany, the date that tradition holds Jesus was baptized and then visited by three wise men, or kings, the parade is sponsored by El Museo del Bario.
It was a warm reception for Mayor de Blasio, as squeals of school kids and shouts of encouragement floated out over Third Avenue. The hazy morning was brightened by scattered pods of cuteness as small children lined up wearing crowns, waving and trying to attract the mayor’s attention. “Four more years” shouted a woman as the mayor and his marching companions moved up the Avenue. She ran out and hugged the mayor mid-march, falling in behind him for the rest of the parade and sporadically repeating her “four more years” call.
In a seemingly spur-of-moment decision at the end of the parade, Mayor de Blasio accompanied Speaker Mark-Viverito to La Marquetta. It’s a marketplace under the Metro-North tracks on Park Avenue, and a favorite location of the Speaker. Mayor de Blasio did not take press questions.
It was a Sixth Avenue sauna for the annual Dominican Day Parade today, as marchers made their way up a hot and humid Sixth Avenue. The crowd was smaller than past years, perhaps due to the uncomfortable weather.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was the political headliner, joining numerous members of Congress, state legislators and city council members (including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito) and fellow City-wide electeds Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Tish James. Among the legislators were State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assembly Member Guillermo Linares and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, each born in the Dominican Republic. de Blasio did not hold a Q&A or take press questions, and reporters and photographers were kept well away from the Mayor as he marched. Governor Andrew Cuomo, the honoree at the 2015 Dominican Day Parade breakfast, did not attend.
Assembly Member Keith Wright brought his campaign for the Congressional seat held by Charles Rangel to a close this afternoon, conceding defeat to Adriano Espaillat in a Harlem press conference. Joined by about 20 elected officials, including Rangel, and two of the other candidates in the race, Wright and Espaillat made a public display of unity standing in front of Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem as Wright acknowledged that Espaillat’s 1,200 vote lead in the preliminary vote totals would hold through counting of absentee and affidavit ballots and the final canvassing of poll site voting machines.
Rangel, who strongly supported longtime ally Wright in the race, anchored the joint appearance with kind words for both men. Other elected officials attending included Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Public Advocate Tish James, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and state and city legislators from the Bronx and Manhattan.
State Senator Adriano Espaillat led a group of supporters up Broadway Saturday afternoon, looking for attention and votes ahead of Tuesday’s 13th Congressional District primary. The Espaillat caravan included about 50-75 walkers and 20-25 cars, all led by the flag-bedecked Espaillat campaign bus. The caravan began with a public endorsement of Espaillat by State Senator Bill Perkins who, together with Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez and Mark Levine, joined Espaillat for the walk uptown.
The race to succeed Charles Rangel has become increasingly racially driven in the past several days, with numerous allegations of impropriety. In a brief pre-walk Q&A with reporters Perkins dismissed allegations by Assembly Member Keith Wright that Espaillat and his supporters are trying to suppress African American voter participation in the Tuesday election. Espaillat stood by silently as Perkins spoke, only offering that he’s asked the Department of Justice to monitor the election in order to “make sure that everybody has access to vote unimpeded.”
Espaillat’s reception was good, but not overwhelming, as he walked up Broadway from 135th. The very modest reaction in the first 10-15 blocks increased as he passed through the northern stretch of Harlem and into the heavily Dominican Washington Heights. Cheers and shouts rang out further uptown, with some downtown drivers rolling down their windows to shake hands with the uptown traveling candidate. There were no signs or displays of support for any of the many other candidates in this election. The only contrary expression (at least as far as a non-Spanish speaking reporter could discern) was a small group of men near 175th Street chanting “Trump, Trump, Trump.”
Seven candidates for the 13th congressional district seat currently held by Charles Rangel met for a candidate forum Sunday. Hosted by the Allianza Dominicana Cultural Center, the forum featured Adam Clayton Powell IV, Michael Gallagher, Assembly member Keith Wright, Suzan Johnson Cook, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Clyde Williams and Assembly member Guillermo Linares.
Mayor de Blasio today attended his second Flight 587 memorial service as mayor, arriving early and avoiding a repeat of his 2014 public relations disaster.
The memorial service is held annually in Rockaway on the date of the 2001 crash of American Airlines flight #587, with a moment of silence timed to the exact moment of the crash. Last year de Blasio infamously arrived after the moment of silence, bringing simmering discontent with his then-frequent lateness to a boil. Today de Blasio arrived early, speaking with many mourners before the 9:05 ceremony began and visiting the granite memorial wall afterwards. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, NYS Senator Adriano Espaillat and NYS Assembly Member Guillermo Linares also attended.
NYS Senator Adriano Espaillat hosted a pre-parade breakfast this morning featuring all city and statewide electeds, save one. Governor Cuomo, NYS Comptroller TomDiNapoli, NYS AG Eric Schneiderman, NYC Public Advocate Tish James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito were among the attendees, but Mayor Bill de Blasio did not attend. Afterwards I asked Senator Espaillat whether he had invited Mayor de Blasio – here’s what he had to say.
For the third time in three days Governor Andrew Cuomo made a campaign appearance and spoke briefly with the press. Today he attended a GOTV rally held by the Hotel Trades Council at it’s midtown headquarters, joined by Kathy Hochul, his designated candidate for lieutenant governor, and Adriano Espaillat, a state senator endorsed by the HTC in his reelection campaign. Cuomo has attended few, if any, campaign events since the State Democratic Party convention in May. After marching in Saturday’s Labor Day Parade he attended a Flushing rally in support State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and yesterday he attended a Bronx rally in support of State Senator Jeff Klein.
Update – Cuomo Speech:
In his third, and penultimate, primary campaign speech Governor Cuomo gave a barnburner, rousing his audience with calls of economic growth, defeating Albany dysfunction, women’s rights, encouraging immigration and more. Here’s his full speech:
Accompanied by Kathy Hochul and Adriano Espaillat, Governor Cuomo spoke with the press immediately following the rally. After a light hearted beginning, question topics included his expectations concerning Kathy Hochul’s separate primary, where he expects votes to come from, his “position” in the John Liu/Tony Avella senate primary, reports of pressure from Cuomo’s staff and allies on Democrats to refrain from endorsing Zephyr Teachout, Teachout’s comment that her qualifications include “not under federal investigation”, whether Teachout is qualified to be governor, whether votes for Teachout are an anti-Cuomo protest, his encounter with Teachout at the Labor Day Parade and Tim Wu’s related comment that Cuomo “failed a basic test of decency and civility”. Kathy Hochul was asked about her recent statement that the Moreland Commission deserves credit for its accomplishments and her statement condemning NFL player Ray Rice. As he exited and headed for a campaign appearance in Buffalo, Cuomo was asked about his election night plans. That appeared to squelch a “shuffling off to Buffalo” departure line.
As he greeted voters and talked with reporters outside P.S. 187 in Hudson Heights Tuesday afternoon, Adriano Espaillat was asked (by Politico’s Alex Isenstadt) about his decision to again run for Congress following his 2012 defeat.
Adriano Espaillat declared the race “too close to call” and refused to concede in a speech to supporters Wednesday night. He left the campaign election night party immediately afterwards, with a spokesperson saying that he would not return or make any other public statement tonight.
Here is his full speech:
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