Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. said about 100 ministers met with him and Bill Thompson in the Bronx this morning, vowing to help get him elected. Afterward, they went to a senior center.
“The enthusiasm, you should have seen it,” said Diaz. “A standing ovation. Ministers chanting Bill-y! Bill-y!”
I had to rely on Diaz’s account of the event since it wasn’t on the campaign’s schedule, and Diaz’s notice about it got past me and a few of other reporters.
Thompson’s campaign said they let Diaz handle the publicity since it was his event. But a Democrat not promoting an appearance with Diaz is understandable.
“We don’t agree on some important issues, but he’s closer to us than Mayor Bloomberg and we should not let ourselves be persuaded by so much of the mayor’s money,” Diaz said.
Diaz opposes abortion rights and is not in favor of same-sex marriage, putting him at odds with many Democrats in New York and especially here in the city.
Diaz said the comptroller candidate he supported, Melinda Katz, refused to put him on any of the campaign literature she distributed in Diaz’s home borough.
“She didn’t put me in the brochure. But she was working with me and wanted my support,” said Diaz.
Diaz said he asked Thompson three times if he really wanted Diaz to publicly announce his endorsement.
“He said ‘yeah, I want your endorsement,’” said Diaz.
“Some of them want my support, but they don’t want the public to know it,” he said. “Billy Thompson asked for my support, and I’m proud to give it. I understand my support would hurt some people in some communities. That I know, especially among the homosexual community. I am helping Billy Thompson. I’m proud to help him. If some people want to hurt him because of that, well, that’s what other people do.”