From: The Observer

Espaillat, Jackson Tout Signature Counts in Uptown Clash

By Ross Barkan
July 07, 2014

Senator Adriano Espaillat
State Senator Adriano Espaillat. (Photo: Ross Barkan)

State Senator Adriano Espaillat is fighting for his political life after losing a congressional race last month–and his top rival is hoping a superior number of petition signatures is enough to put him over the edge.

Robert Jackson, a former councilman, turned in 8,142 signatures to qualify for the ballot in the Democratic primary against Mr. Espaillat, well above the 1,000 required, according to his campaign. That total is about 2,000 more than Mr. Espaillat turned in, though the Espaillat camp collected signatures over a much shorter period of time.

Mr. Jackson is also touting the endorsement of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, a relatively well-known club based in a downtown sliver of the upper Manhattan-based district that also endorses citywide. Mr. Jackson also has several union endorsements that he is hoping will be enough to counter the labor-backed Working Families Party, who again endorsed Mr. Espaillat after falling behind him in his race against Congressman Charlie Rangel.

“The Espaillat campaign collected more than 6,000 signatures in under 10 days, and is proud to have the support of the Working Families Party, Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, 32BJ, and other progressive leaders. Senator Adriano Espaillat has been a champion on critical issues for this district like affordable housing and environmental protection – his record far outshines his opponents’,” said Jonathan Davis, a spokesman for Mr. Espaillat.

A third candidate, Luis Tejada, is also challenging Mr. Espaillat in the Democratic primary. Mr. Jackson, who represented a Harlem-based district in the council for 12 years, is Mr. Espaillat’s chief competition, however.

Mr. Jackson has been running for the seat since Mr. Espaillat was running for Congress. While Mr. Espaillat claimed he was focusing only on his congressional bid, he immediately declared his intentions to run for re-election after losing to Mr. Rangel in the June 24 primary. Over a ten day period, his supporters furiously gathered about six times the number of signatures required.

It appears likely both Mr. Jackson and Mr. Espaillat will make the ballot. Whether Mr. Jackson, who is not as prominent among the Dominican-American base that makes up district, can actually unseat Mr. Espaillat is not clear, at least according to uptown political observers. The primary will be held in September.

Mr. Jackson’s supporters, however, are confident.

“When he is in office, you get full time service from a full time legislator. As a school board president, he secured 16 billion dollars in new funding for New York City school children. He is a uniter, and we need his voice in the State Senate,” said Allen Roskoff, the president of the Jim Owles Club.

Officers

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

  1. Hon. Eric Adams
  2. George Arzt
  3. Lance Bass
  4. John Blair
  5. Mark Benoit
  6. Hon. Rodneyse Bichotte
  7. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  8. Erik Bottcher
  9. Robin Byrd
  10. Hon. Gale Brewer
  11. Christian Campbell
  12. Gus Christensen
  13. Hon. Martin Connor
  14. Hon. Jon Cooper
  15. Wilson Cruz
  16. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  17. Alan Cumming
  18. Valorie Curry
  19. Michael Czaczkes
  20. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  21. Jon Del Giorno
  22. Aries Dela Cruz
  23. Kyan Douglas
  24. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  25. James Duff
  26. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  27. Hon. Rafael Espinal
  28. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  29. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  30. Dan Gettleman
  31. Jason Goldman
  32. Emily Jane Goodman
  33. Hon. Mark Green
  34. Tony Hoffmann
  35. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  36. Binn Jakupi
  37. Hon. Letitia James
  38. Hon. Corey Johnson
  39. Camille Joseph
  40. Phillip Keane
  41. Greg Lambert
  42. Dodge Landesman
  43. Phillip McCarthy
  44. Matt McMorrow
  45. Michael Mallon
  46. Mike C. Manning
  47. David Mansur
  48. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  49. Troy Masters
  50. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  51. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  52. John Cameron Mitchell
  53. Donny Moss
  54. Barry Mullineaux
  55. Hon. Paul Newell
  56. Denis O'Hare
  57. America Olivo Campbell
  58. Noah Pfefferbilt
  59. Josue Pierre
  60. Bob Pontarelli
  61. Billy Porter
  62. Hon. Keith Powers
  63. Randy Rainbow
  64. Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar
  65. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  66. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  67. Maer Roshan
  68. Toby Russo
  69. Bill Samuels
  70. James Sansum
  71. Scott Sartiano
  72. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  73. Lynn Schulman
  74. Frank Selvaggi
  75. Rev. Al Sharpton
  76. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  77. Tom Smith
  78. Anne Strahle
  79. Hon. Scott Stringer
  80. Wayne Sunday
  81. Hon. Bill Thompson
  82. JD Thompson
  83. Bjorn Thorstad
  84. Hon. Matt Titone
  85. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  86. Sam Underwood
  87. Jessica Walter
  88. Patricia Nell Warren
  89. Wil Weder
  90. Seth Weissman
  91. Mel Wymore
  92. Emma Wolfe
  93. Hon. Keith Wright
  94. Zephyr Teachout