New Ruben Diaz Sr. Democratic Club

By Robert Press

 

The overflow crowd at the opening of the Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. Democratic Club. Photo credit: Bob Press

On Thursday morning, the new Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. Democratic Club opened as a headquarters for Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. for Congress. The club is located in the 15th Congressional District which will become an open seat in 2020 as the nearly 30-year incumbent Rep. Jose E. Serrano has announced that he will not seek re-election due to advancing Parkinson’s Disease.

Several candidates have already announced their intentions to run for the soon to be vacant congressional seat. At last count there are five declared candidates: City Councilmen Ritchie Torres and Ruben Diaz Sr., as well as Assemblyman Michael Blake have created congressional campaign committees. Other announced candidates include community nonprofit leaders, Jonathan Ortiz and Tomas Ramos.

Each of the three big-name officeholders bring different qualities to the race. Councilman Torres is openly gay, Councilman Diaz Sr. is a socially conservative Christian minister opposed to gay marriage, and Assemblyman Blake is currently a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Of these three candidates, only Torres faces a term-limit in 2021. He has also been cited as a possible candidate for Bronx borough president in 2021 when the office becomes vacant. Current Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., has announced his plans to run for mayor. Torres say the upcoming Democratic primary will determine if “a Trump Republican (i.e., Rev. Diaz) can win in the most Democratic district in the state.”

Councilman Diaz, Sr. has come under fire during his time in the State Senate and now in the city council for his conservative views, strong family values, opposition to LGBTQ-oriented legislation and more recently for controversial remarks about homosexuals controlling the Council and not snitching on sexual harassment involving colleagues.

Club president George Alvarez (rumored 79AD candidate) talks of the aim of the new club. Photo credit: Bob Press

Assemblyman Blake comes off a loss in the recent Special Election for Public Advocate, but won all the Assembly Districts in that election in which he was the only candidate from the Bronx.

The primary election will be held in June 2020.