Rafael Espinal drops from Brooklyn BP race

(Photo: John McCarten/City Council)

North Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal has ended his campaign for Brooklyn borough president.

Espinal, who represents Cypress Hills, East New York and parts of Bushwick, announced his decision last week.

“Being elected to lead and serve our city’s greatest borough has always been a dream of mine,” he said in a statement.

The councilman touted his work to secure “historic” investments for his district, the Holocaust Survivors initiative, and pass legislation for green roofs and the Office of Nightlife.

“As a born and raised Brooklyn boy, I believe there is no greater honor than to serve as the Brooklyn Borough President,” Espinal continued, “but after months of consideration I have decided not to continue my campaign.”

He added that given his record and ability to work with Brooklynites, he believed he could have put together a “strong and winning campaign. But “right now is just not the time for me,” he said.

Espinal, who is term-limited in the City Council by 2021, previously ran for public advocate on his own “Livable City” party line. He placed seventh, collecting 12,929 votes, just north of 3 percent.

What’s next for Espinal? That remains to be seen. In his statement, he said he would have “more details to follow” in the days to come.

Notably, he raised $11,749 for his campaign, far behind other candidates. He could transfer those funds for a future run for higher office.

Espinal’s exit from the Brooklyn BP race could consolidate support for Councilman Antonio Reynoso, who, like Espinal, is a young, Latino and progressive lawmaker from north Brooklyn.

Bed-Stuy Councilman Robert Cornegy is also in the running. He has more than $150,000 in his campaign coffers, far outpacing Reynoso, who raised $84,000, according to the NYC Campaign Finance Board.

The only other candidate who filed with the CFB is Lamor Whitehead-Miller, a Crown Heights-based activist.

Of course, there have been rumors that First Lady Chirlane McCray may jump into the race. She and Mayor de Blasio are reportedly close to the Brooklyn Democratic Party, now run by Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, as well as current Brooklyn BP Eric Adams.

We will keep a close eye on the race as we head toward 2021.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *