WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
District 32 Bronx County, New York
You should know that on September 13, 2016, Democratic Primaries were held here in Bronx County, and the New York City Board of Elections has finally released the certified results.
It is important for you to know that many interesting things happened during those primaries. Some of these things make us happy and proud, and others are cause for concern.
For me, personally, I am tickled pink because the residents of the 32nd Senatorial district gave me a tremendous victory of historic proportion. In this 2016 Democratic Primary race, the residents of my district gave me a sweeping victory with 94 percent of their vote.
You should know that here in Bronx County, no one in recent history has ever received a Democratic Primary Election victory with those results.
On the other hand, in General Elections, these very high percentages are expected results when a Democrat is running against a Republican, because Bronx Democrats always vote for Democrats. That is why when 94 percent of Bronx voters choose one Democrat against another Democrat, it is a historic victory!
I am humbled and grateful to my constituents, and very proud of the race we ran, and the mandate I received.
Another one of the great achievements in this past Bronx Primary Election season is that there were no Hispanic candidates pitted against any African American incumbents.
It was noble how Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Bronx Democratic Party Chair Marcos Crespo, and the Bronx Hispanic leadership did not promote, support nor encourage other Hispanics to challenge any African America incumbents in the Democratic Primary. This is especially noteworthy since there are African American incumbents who represent Bronx districts where the majority of residents are, in fact, Hispanic.
Bravo to Rubencito, Marcos, and the Hispanic Leadership here in Bronx County in their quest for unity!
You should know that it is a concern that many Hispanic incumbents were challenged by African American and non-Hispanic insurgents.
For example, the Chairman of the Bronx Democratic Party, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo was challenged by Mr. William Moore; Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda was challenged by Ms. Pamela Stewart; Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo was challenged by Mr. Jackson Strong; and New York City Councilman Rafael Salamanca was challenged by Ms. Helen Hines.
Even though all of the Bronx incumbents kept their seats – Marcos Crespo won with 76% of the vote; Luis Sepulveda won with 75% of the vote; Carmen Arroyo won with 67% of the vote; and Rafael Salamanca won with 62% of the vote – there is still reason to be concerned because Hispanic incumbents were subjected to unnecessary spending of resources and energy.
My dear reader, you and I know that we live in the United States of America, where everyone has the right to aspire to elected office, and where no one can be prevented from running for any position of their choice. It is most important to cherish our freedoms, and never strive to prevent another person from running for elected office because of race, gender, religion, nationality, or sexual preference.
America is the country of freedom, but in our quest for unity among different ethnic groups, what the Bronx Hispanic Democratic leadership did by not challenging any African American incumbents has to be recognized.
I would hate to see, in the future, if any members of our Hispanic leadership would join forces to target African American incumbents the way it appears that Hispanics were challenged in this past primary.
If that were to happen, it cannot be called racism, discrimination nor anything else, because it is the freedom we have here in America.
I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.
Congrats to Senator Diaz Sr. on his victory as I said in my political column which appears in the the Bronx Voice newspaper. However the Bronx Democratic County organization has one of, if not the best election lawyer who helps knock off or tie up on the court system candidates who challenge Bronx County incumbents. This challenge phase takes away much valuable resources from the challengers who are not as well known or as financially backed as the incumbents backed by the county organization.
BRAVO to Senator Diaz, but if the good senator was able to get 94 percent of the vote, why is it that those who ran with Senator Diaz Sr. did not do as well as he did. In fact the Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Marcos Crespo lost 18 percent of the vote Senator Diaz got, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda lost 19 percent of the vote Senator Diaz got, and incumbent Councilman Rafael Salamanca, (a disciple of Senator Diaz) lost 32 percent of the vote Senator Diaz got.
My dear Senator you did extremely well, but your disciples lost something in the translation of the vote to them. That makes you strong and them appear to be weak. If the opposition to the Bronx County organization was to unite, then maybe we would see much better elections. After all Democracy is not about how much you won by, but how good the elected officials are for the people who elected them.
That is what you should know.