Gustavo Rivera lost party backing, a chunk of his district and sense of home. But he refuses to cede the 33rd District.


It was a busy, yet productive Friday in a series of chaotic months for longtime state Sen. Gustavo Rivera.

The 46-year-old usually finds time before the official candidate filing deadlines to do a fundraising blitz of friends and longtime supporters called Feasting Day — a tradition he’s done since his time as a campaigner for state pols like Phil Reed and his future colleagues Jose M. Serrano and Andrea Stewart-Cousins — and this year’s fundraising effort carries more weight than years prior.

“I never intended to run for office, but I did want to work in public service and as I was doing it, getting other people elected as a campaigner, I had to bring a certain type of energy to fundraising that’s never left,” said Rivera who received $15,000 in donations on Friday for his Aug. 23 reelection campaign. “The things that I’m trying to achieve are not small. They’re not easy, but they could be transformative though. They will be transformative for people.”

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