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East Village Dem primary challengers form political alliance

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.


  1. Francisco Gonzalez Francisco Gonzalez March 10, 2023

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments! Many blessings!

  2. WG WG March 7, 2023

    Anything to get Rivera out of this district. I’ll sign, and I’ll volunteer.

    • Isabel Celeste Isabel Celeste March 8, 2023

      We will be meeting on Sunday March 12 at Tompkins Square Park at 9th & B between 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.

  3. JF Hyer JF Hyer March 7, 2023

    Great news. Where do I sign up? Do they have an office or a table at Tompkins or – ?
    Thank you.

  4. Aura Olavarria Aura Olavarria March 7, 2023

    Do Grace Lee and Chris Marte represent this district?

    • Bernie Bernie March 8, 2023

      If you got Joe Biden’s endorsement, would you turn it down because he doesn’t live in your district? Endorsements mean support. That’s the way it works.

  5. Andrea Andrea March 7, 2023

    It’s not clear why the tag line of The Village Sun is “real news for the community,” when this article violates basic standards of ethics in journalism, which publishes allegations by a single source without attempting to verify accuracy. Please verify that state and city elected officials have, in fact, endorsed this candidate.

    Omitting facts provided to the journalist (the CoDA-endorsed candidates are clearly stated all over social media, and were not called for comment, nor mentioned in this article) that would clearly lead the reader/viewer to a different conclusion, is a basic violation of ethics in journalism. What gives?

    • The Village Sun The Village Sun Post author | March 7, 2023

      Thanks for your comment. We will be doing more reporting on these races. This article mainly was just to report that there is an “opposing slate” of candidates for City Council and district leader (in Part A), that they have formed an alliance, etc.

  6. Gojira Gojira March 7, 2023

    How can I sign this petition???

    • Bonnie Bonnie March 8, 2023

      Go to Francisco’s office at 428 East 10th Street between C and D. Many organizations have office space there. During the pandemic he opened his office to many groups for distribution of food, PPEs, Covid testing and more. He started the community fridge on Ave B and 9th during the pandemic. And so much more.

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