Latino super PAC joins New York House primary free-for-all
A top Hispanic super PAC on Thursday announced a major investment supporting New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera in the Democratic House primary for the 12th Congressional District, diving headfirst into a chaotic contest for a prized seat.
Nuestro PAC, an organization spearheaded by Chuck Rocha, the political consultant who headed Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders’s successful Latino outreach in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, will spend $500,000 on TV and bilingual digital ads for Rivera.
“Carlina Rivera is exactly the kind of representation the Latino community has been looking for. She is a committed leader in our community and will fight every day while in Congress to ensure we have a voice promoting priorities that are important to the entire district, notably the Latino community that she is from,” Rocha said.
Nuestro PAC’s ads focus on Rivera’s origins growing up in the Lower East Side, and her political history representing local communities.
The wide-open primary contest, which will be held on Aug. 23, has 12 Democrats competing for one of the country’s safest blue seats covering a diverse range of neighborhoods in Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan.
About a half-dozen candidates have received serious media attention, and the race has turned into an endorsement slugfest among political, civil society and labor groups.
Rivera’s campaign is gaining momentum among Latino groups and officials, with endorsements from New York Democratic Reps. Nydia Velázquez and Adriano Espaillat, as well as the Latino Victory Fund under her belt.
Still, the race is unpredictable with so many candidates in the mix, including Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), former Rep. Liz Holtzman (D-N.Y.), prosecutor Daniel Goldman and state Assemblymembers Yuh-Line Niou and Jo Anne Simon.
Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped out of the race in July amid sagging poll numbers.
Asked whether a high-profile bet on an unpredictable primary was a risk for the relatively new Nuestro PAC, Rocha said, “No. This PAC was set up to help elect Latinos and the Congress needs more Latinos representing. Especially Latina representatives.”
“This kind of race is why we started this PAC – to give Latinos a voice, and Carlina deserves for her voice to be heard in this primary,” said Rocha.