Báez Eliminated from Bronx Primaries
August 21, 2003
By Maxy Sosa
The fight for the Democratic nomination for the City
14th district seat (in the Bronx) has been reduced to two: the
current Councilmember María Báez and the ex-councilmember
and state senator Israel Ruiz Jr.
Left behind was Iris Báez,
whose candidacy was disqualified the 28th of July by the Board
of Elections because, of the 2,700
signatures that were turned in as a requirement of the candidacy,
only 859 were accepted as valid.
Báez, mother of Anthony
Báez, who died a few years
ago at the hands of a police officer in the Bronx, needed 900 signatures
or more in order to enter onto the ballot, but fell short by 41.
led to the disqualification of Báez? According to her,
a lack of information and experience.
Báez, who was running
for public office for the first time, said that the Board determined
that many of the people that signed
the petitions did not reside in the district, an obligatory requirement
to validate a candidacy.
The exit of Iris Báez from the
race cleared the way for current councilmember María Báez,
who will seek reelection and is the official candidate of the so-called “political
machine of the Bronx.”
The similarity of the names provoked
a conflict between both parties, since Iris has said on various
occasions that María took
advantage of this similarity in order to take the political advantage,
something the councilmember denies.
Asking councilmember Báez
if she knew why Iris had left the race, she answered that “it
was her personal decision. We have spoken and she is supporting
Iris Báez was confronted with this declaration
and responded, “The
first time that we spoke was during the last Puerto Rican Day Parade
in the Bronx, where I was introduced to her.”
Iris said that
she has not had time to speak about political support with María,
but added “I prefer her to Israel Ruiz
Jr. He was opposed to naming a street in the Bronx after my son.”
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Translated from Spanish by Charlotte