UPDATE: Out of about 4,500 votes cast, Espinal won with 44%. Jesus Gonzalez got 32% and Deidra Towns, 23%.
“It feels great!” Espinal told BushwickBK’s Aaron Short. “I’m really looking forward to putting in the hard work needed to make my community a greater place for my constituents.”
Polls opened at 8am today in the race for the 54th Assembly District, but the dirty tricks began way before the polls opened.
Amid reports that Vito Lopez-allied RBSCC blocked “insurgent” candidate Jesus Gonzalez and legacy shoo-in Deidra Towns’ attempts to campaign in their publicly-funded senior facilities, some baser evidence of sabotage has emerged.
An anonymous photographer took a photo of a Deidra Towns booster, unashamed in his bright yellow t-shirt emblazoned VOTE TOWNS, ripping down Gonzalez flyers on Bushwick Avenue this morning.
Gonzalez, an activist from community organization Make the Road, is the pick of Lopez-enemy reform organization New Kings Democrats and has the backing of the Working Families Party, which endorses progressive-minded Democrat candidates. Towns and Rafael Espinal are essentially two squabbling wings of the Lopez establishment.
Indeed, one voter notes that at his polling station, there were throngs of Towns groupies and even more for Espinal; nobody pumped for Gonzalez — the power of dynastic incumbency?
Towns and Espinal are from the same machine, and one of them is likely to win. But having workers scurry around the smallish district tearing down tiny paper roadside signs betrays the worry of at least the Towns camp. Are political machines really paper tigers?
If it matters to you, the vote is still on. Some fifty percent of Bushwick, the southern portion, is in the 54th District. Check the map to make sure you’re in it. Polls are open until 9pm.