By Carolina Pichardo | December 27, 2016 11:52am
INWOOD — Senator-Elect Marisol Alcantara should think again before joining the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) — an independent conference that tips power in Albany to the Republicans — when she steps into Adriano Espaillat's old seat next year, the losing candidates for her seat urge.
Former Councilman Robert Jackson and Micah Lasher — who both lost to Alcantara in the primaries with 32.43 percent of the vote to Lasher’s 30.19 percent and Jackson’s 29.72 percent — wrote a letter to Alcantara urging her to caucus with the State Senate Democrats instead.
But the freshly minted senator appears determined to join the group.
"Marisol Alcantara won a highly contested campaign against these two failed candidates, because the voters trusted her to do everything in her power to change the way Albany works,” Smith said in a statement to DNAinfo New York. “She will fulfill the commitment she made during her campaign to be an agent for change on behalf of the people of this state."
The pair say that voters who provided Alcantara with a 294-vote margin of victory had no idea that she planned to “caucus with the IDC,” nor that she had received “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from them for her campaign. Alcantara won the seat in primary election with 32.43 percent of the vote to Lasher’s 30.19 percent and Jackson’s 29.72 percent, according to the Board of Elections.
The IDC was formed in the wake of the 2012 elections by Bronx State Senator Jeff Klein after several Democrats concerned with the “disarray” of the Democratic party agreed to work with the Republican party to give them a majority.
“For four years now, the IDC has perpetuated Republican leadership of the Senate,” Jackson and Lasher wrote in the letter.
When “the stakes are even higher, with the leadership Donald Trump is bringing to the Republican Party, dividing the Democrats has a real impact,” the letter continued.
Alcantara got significant support from Congressman-elect Adriano Espaillat, the current State Senator, who endorsed her as part of a “year of the woman” speech earlier this year.
Richard Fife, spokesman for Robert Jackson, said Alcantara received $539,558.37 from a Senate Independence Campaign Committee that was set up by IDC to help their candidates, and at least $28,000 directly from IDC members.
Lis Smith, spokeswoman for Alcantara, declined to comment on the campaign contributions.