After writing about some progressive endorsements collected by his challenger today, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that state Senator Pedro Espada Jr. picked up a significant endorsement of his own yesterday.
The proudly non-progressive State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. endorsed his colleague outside the Church of the Mediator in the Bronx yesterday afternoon.
“I’m a reverend, and we’re doing this here because the religious community are here supporting a great leader, a person who fought with me hand in hand,” said Diaz, who was joined by several local ministers. (Full disclosure: I didn’t make it to the event, but the campaign sent me the video below.)
The two self-styled “amigos” have had a back-and-forth history, but Diaz Sr. has become one of Espada’s most ardent defenders, even as others in the party have backed away from him. That support could be particularly important as Espada pushes the defiant narrative that his ascension to Senate majority leader should be celebrated by the Latino community, and that his critics oppose him because he is Latino. (It should be noted that Diaz Sr.’s son, the popular Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., has said he does not support Espada.)
Diaz praised his colleague for standing with him in the recent budget battles, and said that no senior centers were closing in the area because of Espada’s leadership.
“The fight that this gentleman has done in the State Senate is something the community cannot allow to try with someone who doesn’t even know where the senate is located,” Diaz said–presumably referring to Espada’s challenger, Gustavo Rivera.
“What people don’t see, I see. What people don’t know, I know. What’s going on there behind the doors. I know what’s happening in the senate. And I can tell you this community has been lucky to have a person like Pedro Espada.”
The video ends before any remarks from Espada.