One week later, on Dec. 18, at a holiday event hosted by party leaders in the Bronx, Diaz Sr. and Crespo all but endorsed Salamanca
, whose candidacy was still unofficial, before the assembled crowd.
On Dec. 29, Diaz Sr. sent another flyer, this one for a Three Kings Day event, with Rafael Salamanca
alongside the senator, Crespo
, and Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda.
, who was officially endorsed by the county committee on Jan. 6, told Gotham Gazette that he
received no preferential treatment.
Critics of the Bronx establishment argue that community boards serve as rubber stamps for the borough president, currently Ruben Diaz Jr. "Salamanca is, in essence, already an employee," said Aubrey-Eric Smith, vice president of the South Bronx Community Association, who is advising the Pabón campaign.
"[Salamanca] serves at the pleasure of the borough president."
In a Jan. 7 phone interview, Gotham Gazette
had ever been in disagreement, philosophically or on a particular project, with the borough president.
"I can tell you what I disagreed with the mayor on," Salamanca
"That I can speak on."
, who cited affordable housing and public safety as centerpieces of his
platform, did not provide any instances of past disagreement with Diaz Jr.
2. Special Election: Rafael Salamanca, Jr., a district manager at Bronx Community Board 2, is the newest member of the City Council after winning a special election in District 17 in the Bronx on Tuesday.
Salamanca's win against the five other candidates didn't come as much of a surprise, as he
had the backing of the Bronx Democratic County Committee
, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and unions.
will replace Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who resigned last December. [Read: Voters to Fill Vacant Bronx Council Seat in Special Election]
Rafael Salamanca meets voters before Tuesday's election (via @JohnJrBX)
Those who will be on the ballot include small business owner George Alvarez; Marlon Molina, a community activist and banker; Joann Otero, former chief of staff for del Carmen Arroyo; Julio Pabon, an activist and entrepreneur; J. Loren Russell, a financial consultant; and Rafael Salamanca, Jr., district manager at Bronx Community Board 2.
In this crowded field, Salamanca, Jr. seems to be the frontrunner, with the backing of the Bronx Democratic County Committee, support from Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and virtually all of the City Council members from the Bronx, as well as the endorsement of Maria del Carmen Arroyo's mother, Carmen Arroyo.
, who was also endorsed by the District Council
37 labor union, has far surpassed his
opponents in raising campaign funds.
has raised $70,107 and has received $36,732 in public matching funds.
Other candidates have raised $7,000-$20,000.
Note: this article has been updated to clarify that it is Carmen Arroyo, not Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who has endorsed Salamanca; and to add campaign finance information for candidate J. Loren Russell.