BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Updated March 7, 9:45 p.m.: They’re hoping they’ll be a dream team.
Three aspiring East Village politicos are joining forces in the upcoming June 27 Democratic primary election. The upstart candidates — Allie Ryan, Francisco E. Gonzalez and Bridget Tuck — have cross-endorsed each other and are conducting a joint petitioning effort to collect enough signatures from local registered voters to get all three of their names on the ballot.
Ryan is making a second bid for City Council District 2. In 2021, running as an independent under her own Neighborhood Party line, she challenged incumbent Carlina Rivera, winning 11 percent of the vote in a three-way race.
In his first political campaign, Gonzalez, the founder of Loisaida Realty and leader of Loisaida CommUnity Concerns, is running for male Democratic district leader. Rounding out the slate, Bridget Tuck, who has been raising awareness about “privatization” plans for local public housing, is running for female district leader.
In a statement, Ryan praised the two other members of the slate.
“I am endorsing Frank Gonzalez for male district leader and Bridget Tuck for female district leader for the 74th Assembly District Part A,” she said. “Frank’s reputation in the community to reduce food insecurity and help small businesses and jobs precedes him and we both are dedicated to heal the division sown over the past few years. Bridget is a prominent AIDS activist based in the Jacob Riis Houses. And she is working to educate her fellow neighbors about RAD [the Rental Assistance Demonstration program] because RAD paperwork is before Jacob Riis residents. I am especially excited to support Bridget because she campaigned for me in the Jacob Riis Houses when I ran in 2021.
“We have created a special petition for the AD 74A that features all of our names, and room for anyone who would like to run for County Committee,” Ryan said. “So one signature will help all of us get on the primary ballot.”
The trio are dubbing themselves the “74A Alliance.”
All three of the 74A Alliance candidates are challenging opponents backed by the East Side’s powerful political organization Coalition for a District Alternative, or CoDA. CoDA, which is Councilmember Rivera’s home political club, has had a lock on the City Council and district leader seats for around 25 years now.
The incumbent female district leader is Aura Olavarria.
The male district leader spot is currently open. John Blasco stepped down from the post a year ago when he moved to Brooklyn. John Garcia was selected to fill the opening, but he, too, then stepped down after about six months. Marquis Jenkins, CoDA’s co-vice president, is currently running for the seat.
The 74th AD Part A includes the area between 14th and Houston Streets between First Avenue and Avenue D, plus the Baruch Houses, which are south of Houston Street.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, is claiming that he had the endorsement of two Lower Manhattan politicians, Councilmember Christopher Marte and Assemblymember Grace Lee — had because he says one of them has since publicly withdrawn her support for him after The Village Sun reported it this morning.
“Christopher Marte endorsed me,” Gonzalez said, firmly, speaking Tuesday evening, “but Grace Lee asked to take her name off — for whatever reason. She did call today, not long ago. She said she still supports me. Whoever I’m running with — she wants to stay out of that.”
Clearly, Gonzalez was indicating that Lee does not want to be seen as publicly supporting Ryan versus Rivera.
“I have not made any endorsements in the 74th AD district leader race,” Lee told The Village Sun.
The Village Sun has reached out to Marte for comment.