Councilman Ritchie Torres normally takes early lead as Diaz Sr. trails in 3rd

Councilman Ritchie Torres takes early lead as Diaz Sr. trails in third

Councilman Ritchie Torres broke out to an early direct Tuesday night time in the hotly contested struggle for an open up Bronx congressional seat, as the openly gay city lawmaker appeared to change absent a problem from a single of New York’s most higher-profile conservative politicians.

Torres led the crowded industry to change retiring Rep. Jose Serrano (D-Bronx) with 30 percent of the votes cast for the duration of early voting and Most important Working day, in accordance to returns from 61 per cent of precincts.

Assemblyman Michael Blake (D-The Bronx) was in 2nd place with 18 per cent of the vote, immediately after scoring a slew of substantial-profile endorsements from black leaders which include the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC).

Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr., a conservative firebrand and minister very best recognized for generating homophobic statements, trailed in 3rd place with just 15 p.c of the vote.

Previous Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverto had notched just 4 p.c.

On the other hand, it will continue to be unclear who basically gained the contest for at least an additional 7 days as most New Yorkers opted for absentee ballots to avoid traces at the polls and probable publicity to COVID-19.

Underneath point out law, the city’s Board of Elections will not begin to tally the absentee ballots for an additional 7 days. Citywide, it appeared that around two-thirds of the vote was solid by mail.

Serrano experienced represented New York’s 14th Congressional District — which covers the south and central Bronx and includes some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods — due to the fact 1990. Past yr, he discovered he was suffering from Parkinson’s Condition and introduced he would retire, ending his three-ten years-prolonged tenure in Washington D.C.

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A person town lawmaker, Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-The Bronx) was currently eyeing the seat when Serrano introduced his departure. Diaz Sr., who is also the father of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., jumped in too.

That kicked off a fierce most important race to characterize one of the most seriously Democratic districts in Congress that showcased 1 of the city’s most outstanding LGBT lawmakers and one particular of its most vocal social conservatives.

Liberal activists mounted a marketing campaign in opposition to Diaz Sr., fearful he could slip as a result of the factious field and into Congress.

“We have a recognized homophobe who is functioning for Congress who doesn’t stand for the values of New York voters. He has a heritage of anti-LGBT rhetoric and votes,” explained Alphonso David, a previous top aide and authorized counsel to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as properly as the president of one of the nation’s biggest LGBT groups, the Human Legal rights Marketing campaign.

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About the Author: Mortimer Nelson

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