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Jose Rivera Faces Party Leadership Challenge

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bronx Democrats meet Sunday night to decide whether Assemblyman Jose Rivera should keep his job as party chairman in the borough. He's facing a challenge from committee members who say he practices nepotism and favors Puerto Rican party members. WNYC's Elaine Rivera reports.

REPORTER: Since the September 4th primary, Rivera has faced an open revolt from a group of Bronx assembly members who have called their movement the Rainbow Rebellion. They have charged that Rivera has engaged in racially divisive tactics during the primary and they now want to oust him.

A spokesman for Rivera has dismissed the accusations as absurd, and Rivera supporters will try to persuade district leaders to convince members to keep him in charge. Both sides say they plan on encouraging as many of their supporters to attend tonight's meeting at the Utopia Paradise Theater in the Bronx.

Political observers say it's unusual for a party chairman to be openly challenged by other assembly members. It's rarer still for a party chairman to be cast out of office.

For WNYC, I'm Elaine Rivera

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