Espada may be kicked out of the Democratic party shortly, but regardless he needs to be beaten at the ballot box this fall. Since he is considered a vulnerable incumbent several (actual) Bronx residents decided to challenge him, though one has already decided to bow out. Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter seemed to be an excellent candidate to clean the mess in the 33rd Senate district, but apparently that wasn't the case.
From The Bronx News Network:
“This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ll ever have to make,” she said. “In the interest of making sure that [incumbent state Senator] Pedro Espada is out of office, and also building power in my community, I’ve decided to withdraw.”This statement comes not so long after charges were made against her for taking disability payments while actively campaigning for office. Pilgrim-Hunter claims that there are legitimate reasons for the disability payments she collects but the story casted doubt over her chances of ousting Pedro. Now there are three challengers left, Gustavo Rivera, Daniel Padernacht and Fernando Tirado. As far as basic political campaign theory goes, splitting the anti-Pedro vote three ways is better than four, but still gives too much to the corrupt and unethical incumbent. When you have a scoundel like Espada who will buy petition signatures with free food, there's nothing he won't do to win another term.
Money, or lack of it, was the main reason she decided to end her bid, she said. Despite several fundraisers in supporters’ homes, she had raised only $30,000, while Espada already has more than $300,000 on hand.
“We did a really good job of fundraising,” she said referring to the number of small donors in the community who gave to the campaign. “It wasn’t enough to be able to have an effective fight and win this race.”
I honestly cannot say which of the remaining three challengers has the best shot, Boogiedowner and other Bronx blogs have a better take on that than I do. What is of most importance is that a challenger win, because I truly believe no one can be as despicable as Pedro.