Audio Brief: Ideological Clash in West Bronx Council Race

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William Alatriste for the NYC Council

Bronx Democrat Fernando Cabrera is seeking a third term.

Is it worse for a candidate for office in New York City to be depicted as a demonic wolf or as an ally of President Trump?

The race in the 14th Council district—covering the West Bronx neighborhoods of Morris Heights, University Heights, Fordham and Kingsbridge—won’t help to answer that question, because incumbent Councilman Fernando Cabrera is being targeted by both tactics.

A series of mailed advertisements by challenger Randy Abreu casts Cabrera as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” (bathed in red light under a full moon), label him as a corrupt Republican millionaire and show him shoulder to shoulder with the president.

Abreu, a former Obama administration attorney, is one of two Democrats challenging the two-term Democrat. The other is Felix Perdomo.

As reported on WNYC Monday morning, the race is the latest episode in an ongoing feud in the West Bronx between Cabrera, a minister and social conservative who opposes abortion and gay rights, and a progressive faction led by State Sen. Gustavo Rivera.

The ads refer to Cabrera accepting money from pro-landlord groups, getting an improper tax break, making improper campaign finance maneuvers, and refer back to his history as a registered Republican. And the mailings continue to make hay out of a brief snippet from a lengthy sermon Cabrera delivered earlier this year in which the Councilman argued that it’s harder to be rich than to be poor, which is not a popular sentiment in the Bronx. One of the ads says Cabrera is worth $1.5 million, but his latest financial disclosure form indicates the Councilmember’s net worth is $600,000 or so.

2 thoughts on “Audio Brief: Ideological Clash in West Bronx Council Race

  1. Something that should get more attention, I think: Fernando Cabrera made an arrangement to have the site of his church, on Morris Avenue and East 196th Street, developed as housing, with the church continuing to operate on the first floor. Great opportunity to create some affordable housing in a district in great need of it, no? But instead, the church’s property will be developed as luxury apartments, with rents over $2000.

  2. With few exceptions, I’ve always exercised my right to vote. And Tuesday I’d have voted like I’ve always voted when I had little to no info about the candidates.

    Predictably, I’d have voted for incumbent – Cabrera

    Predictably, I’d have NOT voted for the fellow running “negative” ads – Abreu

    You’d have been doubly certain I’d voting for Cabrera come Tuesday. Then this happened.

    From this article I learned about Cabrera’s stance on the gays. I looked further and was stunned to find Cabrera in a YouTube video remarking favorably on Uganda and how they treat the gays and how they handle HIV/AIDS.

    Stunned because Uganda is among the most homophobic govts in the world with laws or promises of same to arrest, prosecute and lock up all the gays.

    Fernando Cabrera doesn’t have my vote!

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