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Carlina Rivera Wins Democratic Primary for East Village Council Seat

By Allegra Hobbs | September 13, 2017 9:28am
 Carlina Rivera, formerly Councilwoman Rosie Mendez's legislative director, won the Democratic primary race for District 2 by a landslide.
Carlina Rivera, formerly Councilwoman Rosie Mendez's legislative director, won the Democratic primary race for District 2 by a landslide.
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Carlina Rivera/Facebook

MANHATTAN — Carlina Rivera, the former legislative director for outgoing Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, cruised to victory in a crowded race for City Council's District 2 seat in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

Rivera won roughly 61 percent of the 13,397 votes cast in the district, which spans the East Village, Gramercy and Kips Bay, according to the Board of Elections. Her closest competitor was Mary Silver, who won roughly 16 percent of the vote, with the remaining ballots spread across four other candidates and some write-ins.

Rivera had been seemingly poised to take the soon-to-be vacated seat in part due to her close connection with Mendez, who is reaching the end of her term limit. Rivera had served as Mendez's legislative director until February of this year, when she began campaigning full time.

Aside from Mendez, Rivera enjoyed a host of other high-profile endorsements, including those of Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James and former state Sen. Daniel Squadron. 

Throughout her campaign, Rivera touted her deep neighborhood roots — she still lives in the same East Village building where she grew up — and has pledged to fight for equitable access to food, health care, housing and education. 

"This is about where I'm from, this is about my home," she said during her victory speech Tuesday night. "This is where I have spent almost 34 years of my life living and loving and breathing and doing and serving and really just wanting to make every single person feel like they're being heard."

Rivera came under fire from the New York Post in the days leading up to the primary for living in a Section 8 apartment while Facebook photos showed her husband, Community Board 3 Chair Jamie Rogers, on a yacht belonging to his father. Rivera, who has said she would leave the apartment if she won the Council seat, called the report "Trump-style mudslinging."

She will face former candidate for governor and mayor Jimmy McMillan, who is running as a republican, in November's general election.