Today is primary election day in New York. I'm keeping my eye on a couple of races and would like to ask readers in those districts to vote for two specific candidates.
Long-time community advocate Francisco Moya has ran for political office before and has never been elected. I predict he will easily win the primary in large part because he's got the backing of several labor unions, a number of the leading politicians in the city and the Queens Democratic Party.
Moya also has the backing of the leading LGBT-rights organization in the state, the Empire State Pride Agenda, potential future state governor Andrew Cuomo, and - in what is a heavily Latino district - the endorsement of the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the city, El Diario La Prensa.
Funny thing about that El Diario endorsement: It doesn't mention a word about his lead rival.
That would be disgraced former Councilmember and State Senator Hiram Monserrate, who was ousted of the State Senate after being convicted of assaulting his girlfriend. In his brief run as a state senator, he also threw the legislature into disarray when he wavered on siding with Republicans on grabbing control from Democrats. Oh, and after years of saying he was in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples, when it actually came to delivering, he voted against them.
Did I mention I considered Hiram to be a friend at one time? Heck, I took him to his first gay bar!
The one caveat about Moya? He is deep, deep, DEEP into Queens Democratic Party machine politics (heck, he once worked for Queens Dem Party leader and US Congressman Joseph Crowley) and I've always been about independent politics. There's no doubt Francisco will just give his stamp of approval on every single thing Crowley sends down to him. And that's not necessarily a good thing.
On the other hand, it's Hiram he is running against. Today: Vote Francisco Moya.
If that sounded like a lukewarm endorsement, the next one won't...
Charlie Ramos vs. Ruben Diaz, Sr.: In what El Diario La Prensa has called a "David and Goliath" race, community leader Carlos "Charlie" Ramos is challenging homophobic state senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. in the Bronx's 32nd Senate District. Ramos, who has led a shoe-string campaign to unseat one of the worst homophobic politicians in the city.
The extent to which Diaz has amassed outside national funding from anti-gay and "Tea Party" sources while failing to raise funds from constituents speaks to his lack of support from local voters.
Unfortunately, people in his district vote at one of the lowest rates in the city and this has always worked in his favor. He has always been able to motivate his blind followers on social issues while those who might vote against him usually stay home and let him get away with it.
I'll probably have more to say about this in the future, particularly if Ramos fails at his bid. But, if you read this and live in the Bronx, please make an effort to cast your vote for Charlie Ramos. If you do, it will stun the political world and relegate Diaz, Sr. to the history books. It will also get you a humbler Senator who will respond to the community's needs and not his own. At least not the needs of a Senator who believes he might as well cave in because the end of days are near...
Please vote for Charlie Ramos!
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