The Hottest Races of the City Council Elections
From El Diario
August 25, 2003

By Fernando Aquino

Splashed with the blood of councilman James Davis, who was assassinated by an obsessed political rival in City Hall this past July 23, the New York City elections have continued without calling much attention to themselves, except for 2 or 3 really competitive races.

With just days before the primary election on September 9, perhaps many New Yorkers are not aware that the 51 districts of the City Council will have elections that day. They also may not know that 165 people, including 50 candidates, are competing for those districts.

Although the public debate has been almost null, now the candidates are getting into the typical legal fights, trying to prevent their opponents from getting on the ballot, a process that takes up a lot of money and energy.

Without a doubt, one of the highest profile races has been that of district 35, in which Geoffrey Davis, the brother of the late councilman James Davis, intends to take his place. Letitia James, who is on the ballot for the Family Worker party and Abraham E. Waserman, the conservative party, are also competing in this district, which includes Fort Green, Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn. Up until now, Geoffrey, who is left with the legacy of his dead brother, has had no problem in the September primaries. His difficulties could present themselves in November though, when he will have to face the aforementioned candidates.

There are around a half a dozen raced that have also called attention to themselves.
In the Bronx, in District 12, Shirley Sauners, who lost to Larry Seabrook by 103 votes in the 2001 elections, is trying one more time to challenge the veteran.

In District 18, in the Bronx, Pedro G. Espada, who substituted for his father on the ballot, faces the powerful Democrat machine of the "county of salsa and the Health Union 1199," which is supporting the candidacy of Annabel Palma, of the democratic party.

In Queens, in District 28, councilmember Allan Jennings, who filled the newspaper with information about district 28 by comparing himself to Jesus Christ, is competing. After declaring his love for a young Chinese girl in newspaper ads, and calling Mayor Michael Bloomberg a dictator, he could have difficulties. Jennings faces Stephen S. Jones, Ivonne Reddick, and Inderjit Singh, for the democratic party.

In District 37, of Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, Councilman Erik Dilan also faces a difficult race, faced with ex-state senator Nellie Santiago, who was supplanted by the father of Councilman, Martín Malavé Dilán.

In District 34, also in Brooklyn, Councilmember Dyana Reyna faces quite a challenge against Juan Martínez. Reyna has the support of the traditional machine, but Martínez has obtained the endorsement of important elected officials and the unions, including Congresswoman Nydia Velásquez.

But the mother of all races this election is that of District 10, in upper Manhattan, where Miguel Martínez is fighting for Council position with Roberto Lizardo and Ydanis Rodríguez. Rodríguez and Lizardo obtained a good amount of votes in the 2001 election, and now are giving the incumbent a run for his money.

Also in this District, José Adames, and the business man Félix Figueroa are running on the Republican ticket.

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Translated from Spanish by Charlotte Triggs

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