ALBANY — Sen. Gustavo Rivera may not have the backing of the Bronx political machine, but the influential Hotel Trades Council is in his corner.
The politically-powerful union on Monday became the latest of an array of New York labor groups supporting Rivera’s reelection bid as he faces a primary challenger endorsed by the borough’s Democratic Party.
HTC president Rich Maroko echoed other labor leaders in singing the progressive Dem’s praises.
“Sen. Gustavo Rivera has fought alongside the labor movement for years, and we are thrilled to back his re-election,” Maroko said in a statement obtained by the Daily News. “Together, we protected essential workers, pushed for unemployment assistance and economic relief for hospitality workers devastated by COVID, and demanded fair working conditions for everyone—and in Albany, we know he will be an indispensable partner to labor.”
Rivera is running to remain in the Senate in the newly drawn 33rd district, which contains about half of his old central Bronx district with the addition of Riverdale.
Following the state’s messy redistricting process, Rivera found himself locked in a primary predicament fueled by the Bronx Dems’ decision to support Miguelina Camilo, a lawyer and former city Board of Elections official, over him.
Joining the Senate in 2011, Rivera has the backing of several big-name unions, including 1199SEIU, New York State United Teachers, the Communications Workers of America and the Professional Staff Congress, which represents faculty in the City University of New York system.
“I am proud to have the support of the Hotel Trades Council in our race,” Rivera said in a statement. “The Bronx is home to hospitality service workers who persevered during the worst of the pandemic, and I have been a relentless advocate for them in Albany—fighting for fair wages, the right to organize, and equitable working conditions.”
Camilo, however, scored a major labor endorsement herself on Monday with 32BJ Service Employees International Union announcing their support for her bid.
The 32BJ backing of Camilo comes days after Rivera was forced to apologize for sending out mailers that indicated the organization and others had endorsed him.
Rivera chalked the misleading mailers up to a “mistake in our campaign’s proofing process”
In a statement, the senator’s campaign said he reached out to Kyle Bragg, president of 32BJ and Henry Garrido, executive director of DC 37, directly and informed them of the “error in the process.”