Mendez Says She Deserves To Be Re-elected Without The Primaries
From Noticias del Tiempo
March 6, 2002
Excerpts from two interviews.
Malin Falu, the straightforward commentator of Radio Guado, and
a Black Puerto Rican, said she would run against Olga Mendez in
the senate race for District 28, where El Barrio [Spanish Harlem]
Olga Mendez, also a Puerto Rican, has held the post for 24 years.
Mendez said that given her long tenure in office, she deserves to
be re-elected without having to run in the Democratic primaries
Mendez called her opponent "an intelligent woman who has not
been involved in the issues facing El Barrio although she has made
a career in communications. "
"The people esteem her, [but] she has no political experience
-- something I've clearly been exposed to throughout my trajectory
Mendez is the first Puerto Rican woman and the only public official
to serve 24 consecutive years in a U.S. State Legislature.
"Since I have made a little bit of history," she said,
"I would not like to leave office because I lost a race."
Mendez has been re-elected 11 consecutive terms.
Her opponent, Falu, has also worked for 24 years as commentator
of programs that address social issues affecting Latinos.
"I told [the senator] over the air that if she retired and
granted me the job, I would name a school in her name or offer her
any homage she would like," Falu said and added that, "I
mean no disrespect. It's important that she has a position in the
community, but at the same time she has to open the doors to other
"Times are changing and I don't know if in two more years
she [Mendez] will be able to do what she hasn't done in 24."
District 28 also encompasses parts of the South and West Bronx,
Roosevelt Island, North Yorkville and Washington Heights.
Translated from Spanish by Angelica Medaglia.
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