No IDC NY to back Gustavo Rivera in state Senate District 33

The coalition said it would not support Miguelina Camilo because of her donations to ex-IDC member Marisol Alcantara.

State Sen. Gustavo Rivera

State Sen. Gustavo Rivera Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

No IDC NY will endorse state Sen. Gustavo Rivera on Thursday in the race for District 33. The endorsement was made, in part, because first-time candidate Miguelina Camilo supported former Independent Democratic Conference member Marisol Alcantara. It’s also a reward for Rivera’s stance against the now-defunct IDC, a group of Democrats who helped Republicans gain control of the state Senate.

Camilo has denied ties to the IDC, but Rivera’s camp highlighted her political donation record to suggest otherwise.

Rivera raised the issue in a virtual webinar hosted by Schneps Media on Tuesday, when he asked Camilo whether she regretted supporting the IDC, according to a recording of the event provided by Rivera’s campaign. “I think that’s a false statement, because I did not support the IDC since I wasn’t involved in politics. I didn’t have any type of position as an elected candidate, and I absolutely will say now that I would have joined you in fighting against the IDC, because caucusing with the Republicans, the opposite party, is not something I would ever support or ever do,” said Camilo, an attorney. She suggested her support for any IDC candidates would have happened before they became members of the breakaway group.

But according to screenshots of donations provided by Rivera’s campaign, Camilo gave $200 to Alcantara’s campaign in 2016 after she had affirmed her future alliance with the IDC, and again in 2018, less than a month before state Sen. Robert Jackson defeated Alcantara. She was one of six former IDC members to lose their seats that year in what was seen as a rebuke of the conference by voters.

When asked about the donations by City & State, Camilo noted that the 2016 donation happened before Alcantara was elected, though she openly ran as an IDC candidate. Camilo said she supported Alcantara in 2018 “when she was part of the mainline Democrats and endorsed by state Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins returning to the Democratic conference. … I have been supportive of Marisol as a Latina … as someone endorsed by the (New York State Nurses Association).”

No IDC NY board member Peter Feld expressed support for Rivera in a statement: “It is simply false for Miguelina Camilo to deny she supported the IDC.”

Feld also noted Rivera’s championing of the New York Health Act, which would establish single-payer health care in the state and has long been stalled in the Legislature. He said it was one of No IDC NY’s “top priorities being blocked by the IDC when we worked to beat them in 2018.”

Rivera said in a statement that he is “proud to have the support of No IDC NY.” He added that since the IDC disbanded, “we have been able to raise the minimum wage, strengthen rent laws, introduce the NY Health Act, secure paid family leave and codify abortion rights.”

– with reporting by Rebecca C. Lewis