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.