by Gary Axelbank
September 14, 2018
In the early morning of a Primary Day that would send her to victory over her well-entrenched opponent, Democratic candidate – now nominee – for the State Senate’s 34th SD, Alessandra Biaggi had coffee in the home of some of her supporters, a signal that old-style campaign methods were changing.
By the day’s end, she had defeated Senator Jeff Klein 55%-45% in a Democratic Primary that had resonance throughout the state, as five of Klein’s former IDC colleagues also lost.
Afterwards, surrounded by her supporters who watched returns at the Bronx Ale House in Kingsbridge, Biaggi told thisistheBronX that her insurgent victory did portend a new look at governance in NY State.
“I feel that this sent shock waves in Albany that people when they organize are more powerful than governments,” she said. “This is about people over money, putting people in the Bronx and Westchester first.”
Backed by two Bronx ‘Indivisible’ groups in the Northwest Bronx and on City Island, Biaggi commandeered a grass roots campaign that saw hundreds of volunteers knock on doors, distribute flyers, and use social media to their advantage in what her supporters hope will be a new era in Bronx politics.
“I have a lot of support,” she said. “They have so much passion and so much love and so much intention to create new possiblitites for our world and when they organized together it was more powerful than the money.”
In fact, Biaggi had raised only a quarter of Klein’s warchest of nearly $2 million.
As for Senator Klein, whose 24-year political career of serving the Bronx as an Assemblyman and Senator is at least on hold, it was impossible to measure his reaction to the defeat because he left the Bronx Decmocratic County Committee’s post-Primary event at Maestro’s without speaking to the media, his supporters, or even calling the victor.
In other Bronx Democratic Primaries, eighty-two year old incumbent Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo defeated Amanda Septimo 63%-37% in the 84th AD. In the 87th AD, a vacant seat, Karinas Reyes defeated two challengers.