By Robert Press
Primary 2020 is going to be very different this year due to the Coronavirus. Does one vote by mail, early, or on the traditional primary date? the answer is which ever way you vote, you must vote by or on June 23rd 2020.
The most interesting Bronx races seem to be the 14th, 15th, and 16th Congressional races, 32nd State Senate race, 79th Assembly race, and the District Leaders for the 80th A.D.
14th Congressional District – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was so anxious to debate in 2018, especially when she was the candidate against the incumbent. Now that she is Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez she does not want to appear in the Bronx debate that many say was the turning point of her victory, including the movie ‘Bring Down The House’. That being the Parkchester Times Debate.
15th Congressional District – The political insiders, and even a poll by a progressive consulting company has outspoken City Councilman and former State Senator in the area Ruben Diaz as the probable winner of this race. This race could be similar to the Special Election for Public Advocate where Michael Blake, Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Ydanis Rodriguez ran. Ritchie Torres made a deal with Michael Blake to have Blake as the only Bronx elected official to run. The second part of that deal went sour as Blake entered the 15th Congressional race. There are several other less known names in the race, including one progressive candidate endorsed by AOC who came in with only two percent of the poll by the progressive consulting company.
16th Congressional District – Many say that this will be current Congressman Eliot Engel’s toughest race, but in 1994 Salsa legend Willie Colon finished with thirty-eight percent of the vote one on one against Engel. This election Engel has four challengers who are on the ballot. The strongest appears to be Jamaal Bowman a principal in the Northeast Bronx who lives in Yonkers. Bowman is the candidate of the Justice Democrats, and has the endorsement of AOC and State Senator Biaggi who was supporting Engel until AOC announced she was supporting Bowman. Engel’s opponents seem to be using his misstatement on Fordham Road as the thrust of their campaigns.
32nd State Senate – Here it is alleged that State Senator Luis Sepulveda is wearing a wire. The current Bronx Democratic County Leader has decided not to run for re-election and is leaving politics. Sepulveda’s brother who is in a Florida prison on drug charges sent a packet of information to the state senate claiming that Senator Sepulveda is a child molester, drug user, and drug dealer which was reported by NY1. Sepulveda’s main rival is the current 87th A.D. Male District Leader John Perez. Perez is an eighteen year veteran of the army, and has the backing or Councilman and leading 15th Congressional candidate Ruben Diaz who renounced his past support of Sepulveda to support Sergeant Perez this year, as Diaz calls him.
79th Assembly District – There are six candidates trying to replace current assemblyman Michael Blake who is running for congress in the 15th district. Blake is supporting Chantel Jackson to replace him. George Alvarez is being supported by Councilman Ruben Diaz who is also running for congress in the 15th district. Cynthia Cox is the current Female District Leader in the 79th A.D. Former Assemblyman Eric Stevens is the other top contender, having been convicted of wrongdoing while serving as the assemblyman. Stevens claimed the charge was false, but was removed from office and served time in jail. Two lesser known candidates are running their first campaigns Dion Powell and Elvis Santana.
In the 80th Assembly District the current Male District Leader is facing the former Male District Leader who served before him. The current Female District Leader is not running for re-election, and there are two new candidates running to replace her. The interesting thing about the 80th A.D. is that the district is split by the Bronx River Parkway with twenty percent of the district west of the parkway, and eighty percent of the district east of the parkway.
There will be another update before primary day which may include the writers predictions for primary day.