A New Contest Between Democrats in the Bronx

Councilman Fernando Cabrera (l) is once again challenging state Senator Gustavo Rivera (r). (Photos via Norwood News)

Council member Fernando Cabrera (l) is once again challenging state Sen. Gustavo Rivera (r). (Photos via Norwood News)

Bronx City Council member Fernando Cabrera has once again decided to challenge state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, who represents the 33rd Senate District in the Bronx, and Rivera and others are mystified by the move, reports David Cruz in Norwood News.

His announcement goes against a request by Bronx Democratic County Committee chair Marcos Crespo to mend fences with Rivera shortly after the two squared off during the 2014 election cycle. Crespo, whose overarching goal is for more party unity, asked Cabrera to hold off on running again, according to Rivera.

Thanks to a recent raise granted to City Council members, they earn more than state senators, and have discretionary spending at their disposal. Cabrera charged that Rivera was a “do-nothing Senator” who has brought “not a dollar” to the largely working poor district. Rivera, for his part, worries about Cabrera’s politics.

Cabrera, a Democrat, is an ordained minister with some conservative leanings. His positions led Rivera to characterize Cabrera as a “Republican in Democrats clothing.”

“We have a guy who is a Republican, changed his registration to Democrat just so he could run for office,” said Rivera. “He’s anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-LGBT, and he takes money from right-wing hedge-funders who really give money to Republicans across the country.”

Troubling Rivera more is Cabrera’s personal conservative stances, pointing to a 2014 incident where Cabrera praised the government of Uganda for it’s zero-tolerance policy on gay marriage. Cabrera called Rivera’s criticism “Donald Trump-type of politics” in which a legislator with no solid platform goes on the attack.

Go to Norwood News to read what shifting political winds in Albany could mean for the primary contest between these two Bronx politicians.

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