ALBANY—Steve Levy’s potential gubernatorial candidacy is a “wake up call” for members of the Latino community, who have sparred with him many times in his tenure as Suffolk County executive, some representatives said.
“I think that Democrats are well aware that our president, Obama, has set a new tone in this country of healing and unity. I don’t think that someone who is considered the George Wallace of New York State should be running our New York State,” said Assemblyman Phil Ramos, a Democrat from Brentwood.
Ramos as well as Assemblyman Peter Rivera–a long-serving Latino legislator and former chair of the Black, Puerto Rican Hispanic and Asian Conference–have scheduled a press conference for tomorrow morning to raise concerns about Levy’s candidacy, which Rivera told me by phone was a “wake-up call” for Latinos.
“He’s governed on the backs of the immigrants and the Latino population,” Rivera, a Bronx Democrat, said. “He was Mr. Lou Dobbs, in terms of the Latino population. Now we find they’re trying to parlay that into a legitimate candidacy for governor, and I’m not going to permit it.”
Over fifty percent of the recent voters in the New York City general election were black, Latino or Asian, Rivera said, and “I will be counting on that 55 percent to vote against Steve Levy. I think there are many ties that bind us. If you look at the black community, there’s a growing force in the Jamaican population, and we have traditionally relied and counted on each other for support on many issues, particularly the immigration issues.”