July 14th, 2009
Bolstered by the unexpected resignation of City Councilmember Miguel Martinez, one of the people seeking his seat — Ydanis Rodriguez — held a hastily called press conference on the City Hall steps this afternoon, ostensibly to announce that he had collected more than 5,000 signatures in his bid to get on the ballot for the Democratic primary.
While Rodriguez did not mention Martinez in his prepared statements, he did get in implied digs at Martinez, who reportedly resigned because of his alleged involvement in the City Council slush fund scandal. He said his parents had taught him to live life “based on dignity, honesty and transparency.” And he said he would “represent the community with good standards,” something he said that is missing “in some elected officials.”
Asked to comment on Martinez’s resignation, Rodriguez said, “We want the best for Councilman Miguel Martinez,” but continued, “We are here to say to our community, ‘we want to move forward,’”
As to Upper Manhattan Council Assisting Neighbors, which benefited from more than $500,000 in city money allocated by Martinez, Rodriguez said that was “a legal matter under investigation.” But he said as a council member he would work to make sure that city money “will go to people who will really do the job.”
Harking back to his days in Washington Height, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer joined Rodriguez at the press conference and offered his endorsement. Stronger said he and Rodriguez had agreed on this only this morning “in light of the circumstances of the day.”
Rodriguez faces a number of opponents in the primary for seat from the 10th district seat representing Washington Heights and Inwood. (For a list, see Who’s Running for What.) In addition, The Daily Politics is reporting that Guillermo Linares, commissioner of the Mayor’s
Office of Immigrant Affairs, might step into the contest.
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