Six politicians vie for a piece of Marble Hill pie
By Adam Wisnieski
Marble Hill Democrats will have a say in two heated state primaries on Thursday, Sept. 13.
State Sen. Adriano Espaillat is fighting off challenger Assemblyman Guillermo Linares in the redrawn 31st Senate District, which no longer includes any part of the Bronx.
There is also a crowded race for Assembly District 72 between Mr. Linares’ daughter Mayra Linares, Gabriela Rosa, Ruben Vargas and Melanie Hidalgo.
Both races stem from the ugly June congressional primary between Mr. Espaillat and Rep. Charles Rangel. The longtime incumbent held off a tough challenge, winning by 1,086 votes. When elected officials, community leaders and unions picked sides between the storied incumbent and the young challenger, many Dominican-American leaders sided with Mr. Espaillat, who said he decided to run because the redrawn Latino-majority district needed a Latino leader.
Mr. Linares was not among them.
The man who was the first Dominican-American elected to the City Council in 1991 decided to back Mr. Rangel over Mr. Espaillat, who was the first Dominican-American elected to the state legislature in 1996.
Mr. Linares’ entry into the Senate race meant he vacated his Assembly seat. His daughter was able to slide into the race and, in turn, Mr. Espaillat decided to back a candidate of his own in that race against her, Ms. Rosa.
Longtime poll worker and Marble Hill resident Paulette Shomo said she’s expecting a higher turnout than usual for the primary election because there are two heated races.
Marble Hill — with some Bronx and some Manhattan identity, but which is officially located in Manhattan — can be confusing for the electorate and the candidates themselves because of the way it is split.
Ms. Shomo said she’s been receiving lots of campaign literature from candidates in both races. Though there are few campaign signs in the neighborhood, candidates made some appearances at events over the summer.
Keywordsadam wisnieski, politics, election, primary, adriano espaillat, guillermo linares, mayra linares, ruben vargas, gabriela rosa, melanie hidalgo, assembly, senate