Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Espada: The More the Merrier?

State Senator Pedro Espada has been experiencing a run of bad luck lately, but that may all be changing. Sensing-in our view mistakingly-that the senator is vulnerable because of all the legal issues he faces, a whole host of characters are looking to topple the formidable Espada. As City Room reports: "Yet another challenger with more ambition than political experience has entered the race to topple the embattled State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. from his northwest Bronx district seat. Fernando P. Tirado, the district manager for the local community board, scheduled a news conference Monday afternoon to announce his campaign formally. Mr. Tirado joins an already crowded field that includes at least three others vying to take down Mr. Espada, who has been beset by a string of scandals that some believe have left him vulnerable."

But the presence of so many challengers is in reality a blessing for the senator-since we believe that he will continue to attract a strong core of support, while the challengers split the anti-Espada vote: "Many voters in the district, the 33rd, have said that they have grown tired of Mr. Espada and his legal troubles, but the growing list of insurgent campaigns may end up splitting the anti-Espada vote, perhaps delivering a victory to the incumbent, whose name recognition far outweighs that of any of his rivals."

Espada may be facing a serious legal challenge-or not; but the electoral challenge is of a lower order it appears. Tirado becomes the fourth wannabe in the race to unseat the incumbent-and not one of the challengers has enough traction to rise above the field in order to make it a two person race-a prerequisite for any successful electoral upset.