Espada: Now That There's No Downside, A Loyal Democrat
Given his history of intrigues with the Republican Party and the Independence Party, it is easy to see why Albany Democrats don't trust Pedro Espada Jr., and are supporting incumbent State Senator Efrain Gonzalez Jr. over him for the State Senate.
"We do not consider Pedro Espada to be a good Democrat," a Democratic Senate Campaign Committee consultant told our own Tom Robbins. "He was in Albany once before elected by the voters, and he turned his back and sat with the other side."
Espada is frankly unrepentant about abandoning the State Senate Democrats to work with then-Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. But he says he doesn't plan to do it again -- mainly because there'll be no Bruno and, probably, no Republican majority.
At his health fair/campaign rally, which we covered here last week, Espada said that he decided to caucus with the Republicans in 2002 because of Bruno, and -- probably mostly -- because working with the majority leader, and the majority party, meant more perks and services for Espada's district. “Power is a zero-sum game,” he says.
With Bruno gone, and the Democrats likely taking over the State Senate come November, Espada says he’ll play with the Democrats this time around.
“Now that the Democrats are at the precipice of power there, they won’t have to worry about Pedro Espada,” says Espada.
There must be something in the water in the Bronx. State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz, a Democrat, has made noise of his own by suggesting that he might caucus with the Republicans come November.
Ironically enough, Rev. Diaz got to the State Senate in 2002 by defeating Espada -- arguing at the time that by caucusing with the Republicans, Espada had betrayed his constituents.