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Bronx Dems Clash Over Leadership

Monday, September 29, 2008

At a raucous meeting in the Bronx, two factions clashed over who would be the next chairman of the borough's Democratic Party.

Opponents to Assemblyman Jose Rivera, the current chairman who is facing a rebellion among fellow assembly members, say he stacked the meeting with supporters who were not eligible to vote.

Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, who is part of the movement called the Rainbow Rebellion, says they're the ones who followed proper procedures.

BENJAMIN: We believe we'll prevail in court and get the courts to really not to get involved in party proceedings. We followed our party rules. We had a quorum of the county committee. We had a quorum of the executive committee and we elected our new leadership.

REPORTER: As a result, the executive committee elected Assemblyman Carl Heastie to replace Rivera. But Rivera supporters contend that the oral "aye" votes for Rivera among last night's crowd of nearly one thousand is what counts.

Both sides agree the results of the election will most likely end up decided in court.

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