Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson wins endorsement of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the city's most prominent Hispanic elected official

Endorsement could help Thompson build a coalition of black and Hispanic voters

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Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 9:42 PM

























Mayoral Candidate Bill Thompson with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz stop for a talk as they take a walking tour of Kingsbridge in the Bronx.Photo by Viorel Florescu/ 10.16.09

Viorel Florescu/For New York Daily News

Mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson (left) on Tuesday won the endorsement of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson won the endorsement of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on Tuesday, a potentially key step in building a potent coalition of black and Hispanic voters in the campaign.
Diaz is the city’s most prominent Hispanic elected official. His endorsement was announced just days after Thompson unveiled the support of two other prominent Hispanic Democrats from the Bronx, Rep. Jose E. Serrano and his son, state Sen. Jose M. Serrano.
“Although he backed Thompson’s 2009 campaign for mayor, Diaz was actively courted by all the top Democratic mayoral candidates this year.
Their attempts to land his support underscores the importance of Latinos voters and Bronx voters in the Democratic primary.
Diaz praised Thompson as a “coalition builder” - which is exactly what Team Thompson is trying to do.
His campaign says it has been working with Latino officials and community organizers to link them to Thompson’s African-American base.
“I have known Bill Thompson for two decades,” said Diaz, a Democrat. “He was the right man to lead our city as mayor four years ago, and he remains the right man today.”
Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, who won a key endosement Tuesday, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. The support could help him build a coalition of black and Hispanic voters.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, who won a key endosement Tuesday, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. The support could help him build a coalition of black and Hispanic voters.

Successfully creating such a black-Hispanic coalition would put Thompson in prime position to at least force a runoff in the Democratic primary.
However, Thompson’s effort to build a black-Hispanic coalition is not certain to work - while most Latinos and African-Americans vote Democratic in general elections, they have not always supported the same candidates in a primaries.
His Democratic rivals this year have also have trotted out high-profile Latino endorsements, including Bronx State Senator Gustavo Rivera for Quinn and Bronx Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda for de Blasio.
Previous minority mayoral candidates have had mixed results in unifying those voters. David Dinkins did well with Latinos during in his 1989 and 1993 campaigns; former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer failed to win an overwhelming majority of black votes in 2005.
Diaz repeatedly praised Thompson’s “temperament,” though he later denied it was a swipe at either City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) or former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who both have been accused of being quick to boil.
But Diaz did not shy away from ripping his predecessor in as Bronx borough president, Adolfo Carrion Jr., the lone Latino in this year’s mayoral race. Carrion, a former Democrat, is running as an independent.
“Just because you're a Latino candidate, this is not about satisfying your ego. This is not about proving a point," said Diaz. "Running for mayor of the city of New York is serious. It's real serious business."
In return, the Carrion campaign said, "that kind of statement is not worthy of a response.”
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