STATE RACES
ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 86
ABOUT EYE ON ALBANY

Bronx

GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS
Take a look at all the latest results for the November 5, 2002 general election.

x-Luis M. Diaz (Dem) 6,396 - 91 percent
Aaron Justice (Rep) 528 - 8 percent
Raymond Capone (Con) 75 - 1 percent

Candidates:

  • Raymond Capone (Con)
  • Luis Diaz (Dem)
  • Aaron Justice (Rep)


CAMPAIGN FEATURE

Democrat Luis Diaz, the district leader for the area, handily won a primary in the 86th Assembly District, a densely populated area encompassing University Heights, Tremont, and the Morris Heights section of the Bronx.

Diaz now faces Conservative candidate Raymond Capone and Republican Aaron Justice in the general election on November 5.

The 86th Assembly District is new, created after the district lines were drawn to reflect changes in the area's population. When the Legislature changes district boundaries, candidates are not required to live in the district when they run for office; however, they must move into the district within a certain time of being elected.

Diaz and Capone have taken advantage of this law and moved into the area. When asked whether this will affect their ability to represent the 86th in the State Legislature, both candidates suggested that the issues in the district are the same facing the Bronx as a whole.

"I consider the Bronx a district, and I've lived in it for 48 years," said Diaz. "It's not whether you lived in the district or the community the longest, it's how you can deliver the best."

Capone argues that Diaz's ties to the Bronx Democratic Party might prevent him from devising innovative solutions to the problems in the district.

"Democrats represent old, stagnant ideas," said Capone. "We've had the same status quo of Democrat after Democrat and nothing has happened except for the deterioration of the areas they represent."

On the issues facing the area, Capone and Diaz agree that the local economy needs to be revived.

"The 86th needs to be revitalized and built-up," said Capone. "We need good, high-paying jobs that will create revenue and hope for the people in that district." Capone wants to cut taxes and opposes the commuter tax. He also believes that incentives for small and medium sized businesses are the best way to promote economic development in the area.

Diaz points to his previous experience in bringing a shopping center to 174th Street in Parkchester, which was part of a $35 million construction project. He believes it will create approximately 300 new jobs for district residents.

They also agree that something must be done to bring more education funding to the area, which has some of the most overcrowded classrooms in the state.

"There is so much concern about our youth not learning, not knowing how to read, dropping out of school," said Diaz.

Capone sees the lack of qualified teachers and parental involvement as the central problems, and believes that parents must play a key role in the new education system.

Republican Aaron Justice could not be reached for an interview.

-Posted October 23, 2002


BIOGRAPHIES

Raymond Capone (Con), currently a Central Office Technician at Verizon, where he has worked for the last 15 years, was born and raised in Throgs Neck and now resides in the Country Club section of the Bronx. He was educated in Bronx public schools until high school, when he transferred to St. Raymond's Academy for Boys in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx. Capone has served on the Executive Board of the Conservative Committee for the last three years.

Luis Diaz (Dem), currently Executive Director of N.E.T.S. (Neighborhood Enhancement Training and Services), a nonprofit social service organization in the Parkchester area of the Bronx, was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the Bronx at a young age. He was educated in Bronx public schools and received a B.A. in Political Science from SUNY-Old Westbury. Diaz serves as Democratic district leader in the 76th Assembly District and as an aide to Assemblyman Peter Rivera.

Aaron Justice (Rep) No information provided.


7 BILLS IMPORTANT TO NEW YORK CITY RESIDENTS THAT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE IS LIKELY TO VOTE ON IN THE NEXT TERM:

1. Rent Regulation: The current rent regulation laws expire in June 2003. Supporters of rent regulation hope that the current provisions will be extended for another five years and that the legislature will repeal the provision which deregulates apartments that rent for $2,000 or more a month. The State Assembly passed such a bill this year, but it died in the Senate in the face of opposition from Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. If the Legislature does not take concerted action in June, rent regulation in New York City will end.

2. Commuter Tax: In 1999, when the State Legislature repealed the Commuter Tax, the city's economy was good. Reinstatement of the Commuter Tax is likely to come up again this Spring as the City's economy takes a turn for the worse.

3. School Funding: Even with mayoral control of the school system, more than 40 percent of New York City's school funding comes from Albany. Next year's budget will determine how much money New York City's schools will get from the state.

4. Rockefeller drug laws: New York's drug laws, passed in 1973 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, are among the harshest in the nation. The Democratic-controlled Assembly, Republican-controlled Senate, and the Governor have not been able to agree on how to reform these laws, look for renewed negotiations and new legislation in the next term.

5. Minimum Wage: Currently set at $5.15 an hour, Democrats will likely propose raising the minimum wage to $6.75 an hour, a proposal that failed last year.

6. Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Act: This has been floating around the New York State Legislature for 30 years, with the Governor's support, it is likely to come up for a vote again next Spring.

7. Campaign Finance Reform: Some 80 organizations have proposed a "Clean Money, Clean Elections" bill for the New York State Legislature. Like the New York City law, it would establish a system under which candidates who comply with limits on campaign spending and contributions would receive public funds for their political campaigns.


PRIMARY ELECTION - SEPTEMBER 10, 2002

Candidates:
  • Raymond Capone (Con)
  • Luis Diaz (Dem - Primary Winner)
  • Aaron Justice (Rep)
  • Israel Martinez (Dem)
  • Yudelka Tapia (Dem)

August 17, 2002

On any given recent weekend, it has been difficult to ignore the distinct sights and sounds of politics amid the street fairs, block parties and parades in the University Heights section of the Bronx. That is because that part of the Bronx is the scene of a race for a newly-drawn seat in the State Assembly, one for which there is hearty competition between two relatively new faces to elective politics. (New York Times)

Eye On Albany 2002 is a guide to the races for the 91 seats of the New York State Legislature that represent residents of New York City.

Learn more about Eye On Albany

For a street map and demographic information about this district please click here

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