10/29/2018 — Malliotakis for Public Advocate … a challenger for Rep. Espaillat?

By GERSON BORRERO

Will Nicole Malliotakis jump in the Public Advocate special election?

That’s a question a lot of bochinchero’s are buzzing about. At this point only Democrats have declared their candidacy or made hints that they are expected to run for the seat (assuming Tish James is elected Attorney General next week). But, there might be one Republican who could jump into the race if the office becomes vacant on January 1, 2019.

The opportunity appears to be perfect for a Republican candidate to run among the handful of ambitious Dems. Could Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis be that lone Republican?

In a recent NY1 appearance with Errol Louis, I asked her and she said “no” to the question.

However, since then the only other Republican candidate mentioned as a potential candidate — NYC Councilman Joe Borelli — said he’s not running.

So I’ve asked insider GOP’ers why not Malliotakis?

“It’s hard raising money for republicans in NYC. And the guys in Staten Island always give Nicole a hard time.” was one response from an insider Republican.

“So, she runs and let’s say that with all the Democrats in it, Malliotakis gets all the republican votes and wins the special. What does she do when she runs again in an election against just one Democrat?” was a question from a political insider. The almost exact words were used by two others that we spoke to about this.

The way some see it and I agree with, Nicole could win a special election. The assumption is that the Dems could divide the vote that turns out and she could win with GOP voters in the five boroughs backing her.

To which a person close to the once challenger to Mayor de Blasio said: “I don’t think she wants to do it. Her heart is not in it. And she may feel disheartened from her campaign for the mayoralty.”

Nicole really thought she had a shot against BdB.

One could argue that the 303,742 votes that Malliotakis received against the titular mayor would be enough to win the special election mandated by the NYC Charter. “She could also run promising to dismantle the office of Public Advocate.” said another bochinchero we spoke with.

So, what’s preventing the Republican from running since she doesn’t have to relinquish her assembly seat?

For now, she’s playing the party cheerleader role, saying on NY1 that she believes Republican AG candidate Keith Wofford can win, and that Tish James will be back at her day job November 7. Don’t laugh. Anything is possible in this crazy political world.

Veremos!

Espaillat 2020 challenge in the works

The crucial national midterms maybe a week away, but there are neoyorquinos who are already looking at one particular 2020 congressional race. Word among a handful of active Democrats in New York’s 13th Congressional District is that Adriano Espaillat gets at least two challengers in a Democratic primary next time around.

At first the buzz was heard immediately after the September 13th primary loss of State Senator Marisol Alcántara to challenger Robert Jackson for the 31st Senate District — Espaillat’s former seat.

“What Adriano did was outright treacherous.” said an insider of Manhattan politics. Another bochinchero who happens to be Dominican and very active in that community stated to me that, “Lo que Adriano hizo atrasa a nuestra comunidad por mas de de veinte años.” (“What Adriano did sets our community back for at least twenty years.”)

The condemnation that this person spoke about is that Rep. Espaillat didn’t endorse the re-election of Alcántara. “He didn’t even pretend that he wanted to support her,” they told me.

Alcántara’s challenger Robert Jackson is black, leading many in the Dominican to conclude that the first term congressman is “all about his own interests” and is worried about being challenged in 2020 by a black candidate.

“Adriano thinks there will be an African American challenger.” said a political operative from Brooklyn who we asked about this.

To that point a recent conversation with a prominent black político said to me: “If there is only one candidate that challenges him, then Espaillat is a one term member of Congress.”

Which is interesting since the buzz is that in addition to Keith Wright — who is always mentioned as the person that can beat Espaillat in a mano a mano matchup — we’ve heard talk about state Senator Brian Benjamin (30th District) wanting to run.

Add to that what another political operator from Manhattan told me: “There will be at least one Latino(a) in 2020 and if there’s only one black in the primary then Espaillat is history.”

So much will happen in two years and quite frankly nadie sabe.

It’s all insider bochinche.