Rival Bronx Dem Leaders Take Battle to Court

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Two is not better than one, at least in the world of local politics. Now both sides of the fractured Bronx Democratic Party –- with two officials claiming the role of party boss and two separate county headquarters –- filed two separate lawsuits to resolve the matter once and for all.

This morning election lawyer Jerry Goldfeder said he lodged a suit "to validate the election of Jose Rivera and his slate, and to invalidate the so-called election of Carl Heastie and his folks." (Rivera is pictured above, led by District Leader Eric Stevenson) Rainbow Rebellion attorney Stanley Schlein also filed paperwork seeking the opposite ruling on Monday morning.

The question of which election stands –- the wild voice-vote run by Councilwoman Maria Baez electing Rivera or the procedural one selecting Heastie to lead –- will be answered by State Supreme Court Justice Robert Seewald.

Rebel Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz feels confident that the court will decide in their favor, saying that Rivera and his allies disregarded party rules by filling the auditorium of the Utopia Paradise Theatre with people who were not legitimate Bronx Democratic County committee members.

"This is the United States of America where we have votes, we have democracy, we play by the rules and we don't give into mob rule," he said. "We don't give into ballot stuffing, which in essence is what they attempted to do by bringing in all these people who weren't members of the county committee."

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