Cuomo praises Diaz at Rubenstein-hosted fundraiser

Bronx BP seen as potential challenger to Mayor de Blasio

From left: Ruben Diaz Jr., Andrew Cuomo and Keith Rubenstein
From left: Ruben Diaz Jr., Andrew Cuomo and Keith Rubenstein

Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered a warm endorsement of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, a possible challenger to his political rival Mayor Bill de Blasio, at the home of one of the Bronx’s most prominent developers.

Cuomo – speaking at a $2,500-per-person fundraiser at the Upper East Side megamansion of Somerset Partners’ Keith Rubenstein – praised Diaz’s sense and governing skills, Politico reported.

“The gist of what he said is that Ruben is a common-sense guy,” an attendee told the news service. “Ruben has a skill set that you don’t see a lot in government today.”

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The popular Bronx politician, whose father Ruben Diaz, Sr. serves in State Senate, is up for re-election but is seen is a possible challenger to the embattled mayor – whose campaign financing is now the subject of a federal investigation – in 2017.

Rubenstein and his partner Joseph Chetrit’s Chetrit Group are planning two adjacent residential towers in Mott Haven, at 2401 Third Avenue and 101 Lincoln Avenue, to contain 1,200 units between them.

The developers have faced push-back to their somewhat ham-handed efforts to market the new development. Chetrit and Rubenstein put up an ill-received billboard that sought to rechristen the area around their development as “The Piano District.” They also through a controversial party that featured celebrities, models and a burned-out, bullet-riddled car, seen as a tasteless nod to the Bronx’s rougher past. [Politico]Ariel Stulberg