Field of candidates in the 17th Council District special election grows

Democrat Amanda Septimo, an aide to Rep. Jose Serrano, has officially joined the race to replace CM Maria del Carmen Arroyo.

In her announcement, Ms. Septimo alluded to the number of women in the City Council . “It is no secret that the number of women elected in the New York City Council is nearing crisis levels, and is in no way representative of our city at large. I look forward to playing a role in ushering in a tide of change in this regard,” said Septimo. The City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is a Puerto Rican woman. Before CM Arroyo resigned, four of the 9-member Bronx City Council delegation are women.

Earlier yesterday, businessman George Alvarez announced that he was running as well. In his press statement, Alvarez said that he was running to improve Bronx schools so that every child has the chance to succeed. “I am running to raise the minimum wage, to help small businesses grow and create new jobs and opportunities for the hard-working people of the Bronx. I am running to protect and create affordable housing and make sure our senior citizens can live here safely and securely and not be worried that they will get pushed out of the neighborhoods they help build,” Alvarez stated.

Community activist and entrepreneur Julio Pabón announced in December. Other candidates include CB 2 district manager Rafael Salamanca, Rev. J. Loren Russell, union activist Helen Foreman-Hines, City HRA business developer Anthony Sanchez, and former Arroyo chief of staff Joann Otero.

On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio called the special election to replace CM Maria del Carmen Arroyo (17th Council District) for Tuesday, February 23, 2016. The election is nonpartisan and a minimum of 450 signatures of registered voters are required to make the ballot.

Sources at the City Board of Elections say that Community Board 2 district manager Rafael Salamanca filed a set of petitions on Tuesday. By being the first to file petition signatures, Salamanca secured the first column on the special election ballot. Conventional wisdom says voters read from left to right and that they are used to voting for Democrats in column A (ie, column one).

The last day to file petitions to get on the special election ballot is January 15.

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