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Goldman wins NY-10 race as Niou, running left, finishes second, Rivera fourth; East River Park, Goldman’s green are hot topics

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Political newcomer Dan Goldman eked out a victory in the 10th District congressional primary election on Tuesday, emerging atop a diverse field of Democratic candidates in a diverse new district.

Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou was trailing in second place by around 1,300 votes but refused to concede on election night, declaring that all absentee ballots must be counted.

Westchester Congressmember Mondaire Jones — who had been a rising star on Capitol Hill with a large campaign war chest — came in third. Councilmember Carlina Rivera was fourth, trailed by Brooklyn Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon and Elizabeth Holtzman.

A handful of other candidates — including Bill de Blasio, even though he had dropped out of the race, Soho parent activist Maud Maron and Tribeca attorney Pete Gleason — all got either around 1 percent or less of the vote.

Political support: At Dan Goldman’s election-night party, from left, Kathryn Freed, who formerly represented Lower Manhattan in the City Council; Assemblymember Robert Carroll, who represents parts of Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Borough Park, Ditmas Park and Midwood; Grace Lee, the Democratic Assembly nominee for Lower Manhattan; Dan Goldman; state Senator Brad Hoylman, who formerly represented much of Downtown Manhattan but, after redistricting, now represents mostly the Upper West Side; and Assemblymember Simcha Eichenstein, who represents Midwood and Borough Park. (Photo by Risa A. Levine)

Goldman, the House’s lead counsel in the first Trump impeachment trial, held his election-night party at Torch and Crown Brewing Company, on Vandam Street in Hudson Square. In his victory speech, he notably referenced abortion, after having been criticized by some of his opponents — Rivera, Niou, Simon and Holtzman — for a remark he made on the issue to an Orthodox Jewish media outlet.

“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to the other candidates in this race, who I have a deep respect for and very much look forward to working with going forward,” he said. “Tonight’s result is a victory for all of us who are determined to fight for our fundamental rights — to expand abortion access throughout the country, to fight for our planet, and to protect our children and neighbors from the scourge of gun violence and hate crimes in our society. Thank you for your vote of confidence, and I am honored to be your Democratic nominee for Congress in the 10th District.”

Yuh-Line Niou defiantly refused to concede on election night. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Meanwhile, in the East Village, a group of opponents of the East Side Coastal Resiliency project who had gathered at state Senate candidate Vittoria Fariello’s election-watch party at Royale, at Avenue C and 10th Street, were happy to see Rivera lose her D.C. bid.

“I’m pretty pleased about Carlina coming in fourth,” Pat Arnow of East River Park ACTION said. “If she had tried to work with us, her constituents, she would have had the win. But you can’t screw with people like us and expect to get support.”

Arnow blasted how Rivera’s side has sought to portray the resiliency-project critics as, what she called, “some kind of well-to-do people. … This has always been a middle-class neighborhood,” she stressed. “We’re not some elite white people. … We’re white,” she shrugged.

Pat Arnow claimed the East Side Coastal Resiliency issue hurt Carlina Rivera with voters in the District 10 race. (Photo by The Village Sun)

In her own race, Fariello was unable to topple incumbent Brian Kavanagh, who had overwhelming support from unions, among others. Fariello got around 29 percent of the vote in the three-way race for the district covering Manhattan south of 14th Street. But she said she’ll be back.

“This is only the beginning,” she told her supporters as they gathered in a circle around her. “We started with nothing — no name recognition, no money in the bank. People are tired of having things told to them. We want to bring our voice to the table.”

District Leader Vittoria Fariello, her husband, John, and their four children on election night. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Joining her at Royale were Councilmember Christopher Marte, District Leaders Paul Newell and Jeannine Kiely, who is also the chairperson of Community Board 2, and State Committeemember Ben Yee.

Meanwhile, Rivera, in her election-night remarks, not far away at Boulton & Watt, at Avenue A and Houston Street, kept her message positive. However, some of her supporters expressed frustration to The Village Sun at Rivera’s challenge of going up against a wealthy candidate in Goldman who poured millions of dollars of his own money into his campaign.

“For those of you who don’t know, I’m a proud Puerto Rican girl from the Lower East Side,” Rivera said, as her supporters cheered and a man shouted out, “Boricua!” “It is a part of who I am, it’s a part of my identity, and it certainly deserved a place in this race,” she said, again to cheers.

“Yes, I am a proud Puerto Rican woman from the Lower East Side, but I am someone who wants to set the urban agenda. I am someone that knows we need access to contraception, that we have to take care of our seniors, that we have to build more housing” — big cheers again — “and that we have to take care of these families, like my own mother and my own father that grew up in public housing. These are the families that have built this city, the immigrants, the low-income people.

“Whether it was 9/11 or [the] blackout or Hurricane Sandy or COVID-19, we have gone through it over and over and over again. And so many families who have been disenfranchised, who are living on the margins, we know that they deserve a voice in Congress who lived that, who has lived through that, and who understands that it takes political courage to make decisions and see a future long term.

“I am going to keep serving,” Rivera declared. “I’m a proud public servant — and dammit, I’m good at it! I am going to keep serving you the way that I always have, and that is coming from a place of love and respect.”

Carlina Rivera campaign literature. (Photo by The Village Sun)

She got a big hug from Congressmember Nydia Velazaquez, who Rivera noted was the “daughter of a sugarcane worker, came from Puerto Rico, trailblazer, first of many, believed in me.”

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, who supported Rivera’s campaign, also made the scene at her election-night party.

The councilmember also thanked her husband, Jamie Rogers — the two met while serving together on Community Board 3 — and they hugged warmly and kissed.

Some of her supporters said it was hard for a “grassroots” campaign like hers to compete with Goldman’s self-financed one. State Committee member Anthony Feliciano, who recently became vice president of Housing Works, told The Village Sun it could be done, “with base building and organizing. … But it was a short race — where someone with a lot of money to invest into it…it makes it much easier.”

State Committee member Anthony Feliciano said, in a short, intense race, it was hard to compete with a wealthy candidate who could self-fund his campaign. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Due to the last-minute redistricting chaos, it definitely was a short race — only about three months — as candidates scrambled to gain traction in the newly drawn Lower Manhattan/Brooklyn seat.

A Rivera campaign staffer noted that Goldman, an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune, funneled a total of $4 million of his own money into his campaign. Anyone who has watched TV lately could not avoid seeing Goldman’s ads. Sunday night on Netflix, for example, his ads were on a constant loop, interspersed with only the occasional one for Jones.

A New York Times report noted that Rivera, trying to close the funding gap, “aggressively courted the real estate sector.” The article also maintained that, in a political calculation, Rivera has tacked somewhat to the center — as a pragmatist who “gets things done” — while Niou has stayed on the left.

District Leader Paul Newell locked up his bike after arriving at Royale, on Avenue C, where Vittoria Fariello was holding her election-watch party. (Photo by The Village Sun)

As The Village Sun reported, during her whirlwind tour of District 10 this past Sunday, Rivera made a point of posing with members of YIMBY group Open New York outside the Edison Parking lot at Great Jones and Lafayette Streets in Noho. The lot is a major development site in the new Soho/Noho rezoning district, which Rivera fiercely championed in the Council.

Meanwhile, Erin Hussein, who ran against Rivera in the Democratic primary election for City Council last year, was also among the crowd at Royale. She said she supported Fariello because she didn’t feel Kavanagh and other state legislators tried hard enough to put the brakes on the East River Park resiliency project — which has now already bulldozed half of the park.

“I’m just not satisfied with people who say, ‘I did the best I could,” when you’re staring down the destruction of a park and ecocide of epic proportions,” she said.

Allie Ryan, left, and Erin Hussein at Vittoria Fariello’s election-watch party. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Due to redistricting, which is coming up, New York City councilmembers are currently serving only a two-year half term, instead of the usual four-year full term, meaning there will be City Council elections next year. Asked if she plans to challenge Rivera again, Hussein would only say, “Someone will run in the primary.”

Allie Ryan, who ran against Rivera on the independent Neighborhood Party line in last year’s general election, was also at Royale.

“I’m going to run,” she said. “All the issues that I campaigned on last year — nothing’s changed. East River Park — there’s no oversight: The City Council said 42 percent of the park would be open at any given time [during the E.S.C.R. project]. It seems like 30 percent.

“The trash and litter are bad,” she said, citing conditions in Tompkins Square Park, as well as the entrenched “Thieves Market” at 14th Street and First Avenue.

“And,” Ryan added, “the restaurant sheds have to go.”

Chris and Allie Ryan sporting “land use” T-shirts. (Photo by The Village Sun)

At no loss for issues, she scoffed that the Open Street on Avenue B — Rivera sponsored the Open Streets legislation — is not the best use of resources, saying, “We need more support at Tompkins Square Park. The [park] field house was supposed to be renovated in 2020. Tompkins Square Park needs more custodial staff. They have three staff members — they clearly need more.”

As for Niou, she held her election-night get-together in Brooklyn. Among her supporters there was Cynthia Nixon, the “Sex and the City” star who ran for governor against Andrew Cuomo in 2018. As she gave her speech, Niou pounded the air with her fist and declared she would not concede until every vote was counted.

An attack mailer during the campaign accused Niou of being a “fake progressive” for not supporting Haven Green, a senior L.G.B.T. affordable housing project slated for the Elizabeth Street Garden in Little Italy. Rivera and Jones were the only candidates in the race to support the housing plan, which would destroy the iconic garden — with Jones, who is openly gay, telling The Village Sun he would always prioritize L.G.B.T housing.

Cynthia Nixon gave Yuh-Line Niou a hug on election night. (Photo by The Village Sun)

For Niou’s audacity in bucking Haven Green — the pet project of former Councilmember Margaret Chin — Chin threw her support behind Rivera instead of her fellow Asian politico.

“I’m so disappointed in her,” Chin said of Niou, the Times reported.

However, Ryan noted, “I noticed Yuh-Line had a lot of support from the land-use community.”

Ryan is co-leader of M.A.G.I.C., a coalition that is suing to stop the development of Governors Island with a climate change center.

Hank Sheinkopf, the veteran Democratic strategist, said Goldman won because of four things: “They ran a good campaign; they had the funding to do it; the New York Times endorsement; and the confusion.”

By “the confusion,” he meant so many candidates running in a new district in a fast-paced, three-month race.

As for Niou finishing a close second, he said, “I wasn’t surprised. The progressives just needed someone to organize around — and they had her to organize around. The Working Families Party and those folks had to organize around someone. The left is not dead yet.

Yan Xiong was an also-ran in the District 10 primary election, getting only around 1 percent of the vote. (Photo by The Village Sun)

“She’s perfect for that district,” Sheinkopf said of Niou. “She’s young, she’s vibrant, very much to the left. Saying what people in portions of that district want to hear — social inequality, they want to justify their own success. She’ll be back. The question is where that will be? We don’t know.”

Jan Lee, a longtime Chinatown activist and a leader in the fight against the Lower Manhattan “megajail” project, endorsed Goldman in the race.

Speaking the day after the election, Lee said, “Dan has proven himself to be very levelheaded under extreme pressure already,” referring to Goldman’s work on the Trump impeachment. “We need a person who is levelheaded in Congress.”

Lee said both Jones and Niou went after Goldman for his personal wealth “because they had nothing else” to attack him on. Yet, Lee noted, Niou’s father was in the Panama Papers — a cache of leaked documents about wealthy individuals and offshore business entities.

Danyela Souza Egorov got around 12 percent of the vote in the state Senate District 27 race, coming in third place. She campaigned on an anti-crime platform of not wanting New York City “to become like Brazil,” where she is from. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Lee added that Niou’s support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel (she says she supports people’s right to back BDS, though she herself does not boycott Israel) and her criticism of police did not win her votes in the Jewish and Asian communities, respectively.

As for the “megajail,” Lee admitted Niou was “first out of the gate” in protesting it, but that she later faded during crunch time in the effort to block the contentious project. Meanwhile, he said, Goldman promised to look at the community’s preferred option carefully — namely, the idea of reusing the existing “Tombs” building instead of demolishing it and building a taller jail on the site.

“He said he will analyze the city’s plan,” Lee said. “He said, ‘I’m for borough-based jails. If I feel that your plan is the more logical option, I will go with that plan.’”

Meanwhile, Lee had very good things to say about Rivera.

“I think she would be a good representative in Congress,” he said, “the way she carries herself, the way she speaks. She takes strong positions. But she aligned herself with the United Democratic Organization in Chinatown,” the area’s main political club, which supports the “megajail” project, he said. “That was a dealbreaker for me.”

18 Comments

  1. Pat Arnow Pat Arnow August 25, 2022

    I want to clarify — opponents of park destruction are definitely not all white, but Rivera implied that, calling us well-funded elite newcomers as a divisive tactic. Opponents are not all middle class either, as I said, way too broadly. A lot of the activists are scraping by.

    All kinds of people were infuriated with Carlina Rivera’s ignoring her community, especially on the East Side Coastal Resiliency project. A very scrappy bunch of disparate, not-rich people made sure voters knew it.

    If Rivera had worked with us to insist on a better, truly resilient, flood-control plan, we would have worked hard for her instead of against her, and she’d be on her way to Congress.

  2. j j August 25, 2022

    Blown away by the concept of “the land use community.”

    • L L August 27, 2022

      Beautiful new euphemism for NIMBY?

  3. Anonymous Anonymous August 25, 2022

    So satisfied that Rivera was a “loser.” Yes of PRican descent but married to a son of a billionaire! She disrespected in every way possible senior artists who built SoHo by labeling us “rich white.” Lumping very wealthy with average, hard-working residents. Supporting a development of an “arts fund,” while taking a “flip tax” of $100 sq ft at sale of the homes of artists, which many built from raw space. She pushed through the destruction of a park with magnificent trees when there was an alternative resiliency plan.

    I too am PRican and she is an embarrassment — hanging her hat on our people and thinking they would support her just because of her fabulous roots!

  4. Gojira Gojira August 25, 2022

    “A pragmatist who ‘gets things done'”? It is to laugh. The only thing that useless hack Rivera got done benefited the real estate industry, not her constituents. Thank God, she lost, and I for one will work 24/7 next year for whoever opposes her, so we can toss her out of the office for which she is so patently unfit.

  5. Chris Flash Chris Flash August 25, 2022

    THANK GOODNESS Rivera lost that primary!!!!

    Career politician and real estate industry representative Carline Rivera had nothing to lose by running for Congress, as she had her City Council seat to fall back on after the primary.

    Just seven months after “winning” reelection in November, Rivera announced in June that she was running for Congress. Is THAT why her constituents voted for her?

    According to documents obtained by The SHADOW, in just the month of June alone, Rivera got more than $400,000 from persons in the real estate industry, from developers, to lawyers, to “consultants” (lobbyists), to notorious landlords, to a corrupt ethnic group selling off parcels on South Street that were long-ago designated by the city to be used for housing the elderly and poor in perpetuity to developers, one of whom built an 80-story “luxury” apartment tower. [The whole story is in the new issue of The SHADOW.]

    Those “donations” came from those who are looking to invest in a new candidate of a newly created, gerrymandered congressional district, who expect and usually get something in return for their payments. Unlike a candidate with MORALS who would avoid such DIRTY money, Rivera took the money and ran with it.

    Rivera is quoted as saying, “I am going to keep serving. I’m a proud public servant — and dammit, I’m good at it!” From what we on the Lower East Side have seen, Rivera serves only HERSELF, her corrupt political clubhouse CoDA and the real estate industry that is gentrifying our community.

    She and her ilk are UN-deserving of ANY political office they are running for. Wait for the next election coming up — Rivera will be sure to be there.

    • Chloe Chloe August 25, 2022

      Where can one obtain a copy of The Shadow? Is it only in print or online?

      • Chris Flash Chris Flash August 25, 2022

        In the LES, you can get The SHADOW at three places:

        • MORUS (Museum Of Reclaimed Urban Spaces): 155 Avenue C (9th-10th Streets)
        • INK: 50 Avenue A (4th-5th Streets)
        • EAST VILLAGE BOOKS: 99 St. Marx Place (Avenue A – First Avenue)

        Happy Reading!

  6. Mary Reinholz Mary Reinholz August 25, 2022

    Seems to me that Goldman won because of 3 things: money, money, money.

    • Chris Flash Chris Flash August 26, 2022

      It’s unfortunate that political races require so much money, which easily corrupts even the best of candidates to some degree. But it seems to me that Goldman’s money, coming from his family’s wealth, is a lot CLEANER than Rivera’s money, coming from those in the real estate industry.

      At least Goldman cannot be bought. Rivera sold herself long ago.

  7. Ole lady voter Ole lady voter August 25, 2022

    Amen, Mary (but he also no doubt benefitted in his very slim win from the endorsements of Kathryn Freed, multiple well-known congressional reps, Brad Hoylman and the NY Times) and to all the others exposing Rivera for the two-faced political opportunist she has become.

  8. Allie Ryan Allie Ryan August 25, 2022

    Thanks to the de Blasio administration, neighbors around the city gathered together and created grassroots groups to oppose rezonings in their individual neighborhoods and these groups (around the city) united to support each other as individual rezonings went through ULURP, and many groups eventually sued the City to overturn rezonings passed by the City Council. In NY10 alone, Gowanus Rezoning, Governors Island Rezoning, 960 Franklin St., SoHo / NoHo Rezoning, 250 Water St. went through ULURP in 2021. (CM Rivera voted yay for all of these rezonings.) Gowanus Rezoning, Governors Island Rezoning, SoHo/NoHo Rezoning and 250 Water have active active court cases. In addition there is a lawsuit by individuals around the city to end the Open Restaurants program that CM Rivera sponsored to make permanent. Lower Manhattan has the highest concentration of restaurant sheds in the city.

    • powerful stuff powerful stuff August 26, 2022

      powerful stuff

    • Jan Jan August 26, 2022

      So to be clear: There are no opportunities for affordable housing that you would support.

      • L L August 27, 2022

        Clearly. These people are 100% NIMBY. They’re right only about Gov Island (an actual land grab) and 5 World Trade.

      • JS JS September 4, 2022

        Affordable housing that is legitimate — not a gift to developers in the form of inclusionary zoning, which is basically market-rate housing with a few “affordable” units thrown in.

  9. Wes Wes August 25, 2022

    I’m not middle class, or 1%, like Rivera, unfortunately, and I’ve lived for almost 30 years on Ave D. Whenever Carlina Rivera runs for anything in this city, I will volunteer for one of her opponents (Niou this time). My race has nothing to do with it.

  10. LM LM August 26, 2022

    Neoliberalism is an approach/philosophy that believes in free-market capitalism.

    “The term has multiple, competing definitions, and a pejorative valence… it became more prevalent in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, used by scholars …as well as by critics to describe the transformation of society in recent decades due to market-based reforms.”

    There needs to be a term to describe a newer version of “neoliberals” — maybe “progressive” capitalists?

    Basically people, mostly younger, who support capitalism/corporatism as long as there is some pitch to a “social justice warrior” message.

    Like Carlina Rivera.

    For example, completely “OK” to lose affordable housing and gentrify a neighborhood with new luxury housing as long as there is some new “affordable housing.”

    Completely OK to insist on bicycles, demonize anyone who might use a car — but be getting tons of ecommerce delivery and flying all over for fun vacations and be OK with closing streets even though it is a hardship for bus riders.

    Etc.

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