WYSK: BLACK AND HISPANIC POLITICAL UNITY KEY TO RECENT PRIMARY VICTORIES

Sen Ruben Diaz SrWHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Hispanic and Black Unity Key to Bronx Democratic Primary Victories

By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz

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 American 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 political 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.

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