Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., who had been considering a campaign for public advocate, announced earlier today he would decline to leap into the fray. “The needs of the people of the Bronx are foremost on my mind and in my heart,” he wrote in an email to his supporters. “Therefore, I have decided to run for re-election as Bronx Borough President in 2013.”
Had he entered the campaign, Mr. Diaz would have likely been the only Latino candidate in any citywide Democratic primary next year, and some amount of political gravitas would have came as a result. Now, only former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, who switched his party registration from Democratic to non-affiliated in order to assist his campaign for the Republican nomination for mayor, is the only Latino pol seeking citywide office.
Still campaigning for public advocate are two Brooklyn frontrunners, Senator Dan Squadron and Councilwoman Tish James, as well as former congressional candidate Reshma Saujani, education activist Noah Gotbaum and teacher Catherine Guerriero. Outspoken Councilman Charles Barron is also considering a run, as is police official Sidique Wai.
View Mr. Diaz’s full message below:
During the past few months I have traveled to every corner of our great city, talking with individuals and organizations of all stripes, as well as my family, staff and those close to me, about the future of New York City and my own political future, as I explored the possibility of running for Public Advocate in 2013.
The future of New York City is no inconsequential topic, and the significant issues that face our five boroughs–from the economy and job creation, to crime and policing, to education and our social services–were at the forefront of these substantive, thought-provoking discussions.
In these conversations, I was touched by so many expressions of support for our work in this borough, and by so many kind words encouraging me to pursue Citywide elected office. I was heartened, and humbled, to learn that the work we are doing in the Bronx is resonating across the City. And that work has been considerable.
We have encouraged companies to move to the Bronx, not only from other boroughs but from other states and countries, while strengthening the economy for businesses that are already here. We’ve fundamentally transformed the way our City does business with our taxpayer dollars through the passage of the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act, which ensures that projects that take heavily from taxpayer funding pay their employees a ‘living wage.’
We have outlined a strong case for reforming our public schools, and for restoring the promise of our specialized high schools for all students, all while providing tens of millions of dollars in funding to our schools for equipment upgrades and new technology. We have leveraged $60 million in capital funding into more than $600 million in new housing development, creating thousands of new housing units–and jobs–in the process.
We have helped usher in major developments–and new jobs with them–in every corner of the Bronx, and have stood with Mayor Bloomberg and his administration to bring responsible development to the Kingsbridge Armory. We have outlined a plan, together with the MTA, to bring Metro-North service to the east Bronx, and we have realized the promise of a major hotel chain making its home in our borough. We do all of this with a focus on “green” development, ensuring a healthier environment while also preparing our borough for the economy of tomorrow.
There are many issues that still face our borough, and many amazing projects that are in the works. My administration has, since first taking office in 2009, focused on new job creation, education, business development and transportation, among other issues, as we seek to transform the Bronx into an even greater place to live, work and raise a family.
The needs of the people of the Bronx are foremost on my mind and in my heart. Therefore, I have decided to run for re-election as Bronx Borough President in 2013.
We have seen tremendous success in the Bronx in recent years. But there is still more work to be done. I wish to see these projects and others to completion, and I will work with our elected officials, government agencies, business and non-profit communities, as well as the residents of the Bronx as a whole, to make that happen.
During the coming months I look forward to meeting with the candidates for mayor, comptroller and public advocate. I intend to outline my vision for the future of the Bronx and the entire City, and I will listen to and carefully consider their ideas as I make my decisions regarding who will best represent the people of this City.
I am extremely appreciative of the encouragement I’ve received, and I hope that support will transfer to my quest for re-election. I am proud to serve as your borough president, and I look forward to four more years in borough hall.
I hope that you and your family have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.