Klein Denies Effort to Bump Koppell Off Ballot

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State Sen. Jeff Klein has the backing of the mayor and key unions and has seen the Working Families Party retreat to a neutral position in his primary battle with Oliver Koppell.

State Sen. Jeff Klein has the backing of the mayor and key unions and has seen the Working Families Party retreat to a neutral position in his primary battle with Oliver Koppell.

The field that will greet Bronx voters on primary and election day started to take shape this week with petition filings, challenges and campaign finance disclosures. In one hotly contested race, accusations about the petitioning process flew.

Oliver Koppell claimed on Tuesday that Sen Jeff Klein is attempting to force him off the ballot, citing a general objection filed by a Klein supporter with the state board of elections after Koppell filed five times the signatures necessary to qualify for the September 9 primary.

But Klein’s campaign says it has no intention of actually challenging Koppell’s signatures. The filing of an objection merely gives its filer a chance to prepare a set of specifications to send the state board, and Klein’s campaign insists it will not take that second step.

That means Klein and Koppell will indeed face each other in the race for the Democratic nomination in the 34th state Senate district, which traces an arc from Riverdale down to the south and the east Bronx and up into Pelham in Westchester County.

Because of Klein’s statewide power, that race could be the main event in the Bronx on September 9, but the undercard includes several other contests. All told, pending challenges to ballot status, there will be primary contests in four of the Bronx’s five state Senate seats, including the Klein-Koppell race. In other districts, Elliot Quinones and Lanita Jones are trying to unseat Ruben Diaz, Sr, while Fernando Cabrera, a city councilmember, and Jose Padilla, Jr. are challenging Sen. Gustavo Rivera. Crystal Collins has filed to run against incumdent Ruth Hassell-Thompson.

Only Sen. Jose Serrano, Jr. is running unopposed in the primary. But Serrano, who also has the Working Families Party line, will face general election opposition from Republican/Conservative/Independent Kevin Barrett. There are general-election challengers in other Bronx Senate races, too (see the chart below).

Along with Koppell, Cabrera, Collins, Diaz, Hassell-Thompson, Jones, Padilla and Quinones have all had objections filed to their ballot status, with specifications due in coming days.

There are also potential primaries—pending any successful petition challenges—in seven of the 11 Assembly districts in the Bronx. And, at the moment at least, it appears as though there’ll be a contested general election in all 11.

However, objections have been filed in 10 of those districts; some of those challenges, if successful, would affect the primary field and others the general election lineup.

* * * *
The 2014 Elections
in the Bronx

as of July 16, 2014
State Senate

District 29
(Upper West Side, East Harlem, Roosevelt Island, Port Morris,
Mott Haven, Concourse Village, Morris Heights)

Democrat: Jose Serrano, Jr. (incumbent)
Republican: Kevin Barrett
Conservative: Barrett
Working Families: Serrano, Jr.
Independence: Barrett
* * *

District 32
(Morissania, Hunts Point, Soundview, Parkchester)
Democrats: Ruben Diaz, Sr. (incumbent), Elliot Quinones, Lanita Jones
Republican: Diaz, Sr.
Conservative: Jasmine Marte
Independence: David Johnson
* * *

District 33
(Kingsbridge, Bedford Park, Fordham, Belmont,
Crotona, University Heights, Van Nest)
Democrats: Gustavo Rivera (incumbent), Fernando Cabrera, Jose Padilla
Republican: Steven Stern
Conservative: Stern
Independence: Padilla
Working Families: Rivera
* * *

District 34
(Riverdale, Kingsbridge Heights, Woodlawn, Pelham Parkway,
Hunts Point, Soundview, Throgs Neck, Country Club, Pelham)
Democrats: Jeffrey Klein (incumbent), Oliver Koppell
Republican: Aleksander Mici
Conservative: Frank Delavalle
Green: Carl Lundgren
* * *

District 36
(Norwood, Williamsbridge, Wakefield, Baychester, Mount Vernon)
Democrat: Ruth Hassell-Thompson (incumbent), Crystal Collins
Republican: Diamond
Conservative: Diamond
Independence: Collins
* * *

State Assembly

District 77
This seat is currently empty, having been vacated
when Vanessa Gibson won election to the City Council last fall.
Democrats: Carlton Curry, Latoya Joyner,
Verdell Mack, Sherrise Palomino
Republican: Esperanza Reyes Acosta
Conservative: Benjamin Eggleston
Working Families: Joyner
* * *

District 78
Democrats: Jose Rivera (incumbent), Fernando Tirado
Republican: Tirado
Conservative: William Sullivan
Independence: Tirado
* * *

District 79
This seat is currently empty, having been vacated
when Eric Stevenson was convicted of corruption charges earlier this year.
Democrats: George Alvarez, Michael Blake, Lanita Jones,
Marsha Michael, Frederick Ricks, Paul Rodriguez
Republican: Selsia Evans
Conservative: Evans
Working Families: Michael
* * *

District 80
Democrat: Mark Gjonaj (incumbent)
Republican: Robert Goldman
Conservative: Goldman
* * *

District 81
Democrat: Jeffrey Dinowitz (incumbent)
Republican: James Lapin
Conservative: Alan Reed
Working Families: Dinowitz
* * *

District 82
Democrat: Michael Benedetto (incumbent)
Republican: Michael Eginton
Conservative: William Britt, Jr.
* * *

District 83
Democrats: Carl Heastie (incumbent) Olivia Chen
Republican: Benjamin Holloway
Conservative: Holloway
Working Families: Heastie
Green: Trevor Archer
* * *

District 84
Democrats: Carmen Arroyo (incumbent), Angel Molina
Republican: Molina
Conservative: Franklin Chidi Oleh
* * *

District 85
Democrats: Marcos Crespo (incumbent), William Moore, Bianca Rojas
Republican: Janelle King
Conservative: Barbara Santander
Green: Daniel Zugar
* * *

District 86
Democrats: Victor Pichardo (incumbent), Hector Ramirez
Republican: Rene Santos
Conservative: Jose Marte
Working Families: Pichardo
* * *

District 87
Democrat: Luis Sepulveda (incumbent)
Republican: Michael Dennis
Conservative: Dennis
Working Families: Sepulveda
* * *