STATE RACES
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 32
ABOUT EYE ON ALBANY

Soundview, Castle Hill, Clasons Point, Hunts Point, Mott Haven, Melrose, Parkchester, Morrisania, Van Nest, West Farms, Bronx River.

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

x-Ruben Diaz (Dem) 23,518 - 64 percent
Pedro Espada Jr. (Rep) 12,864 - 35 percent
Richard Retcho (Con) 361 - 1 percent

Candidates:

  • Ruben Diaz, Sr. (Dem)
  • Pedro Espada (Rep/Ind) Incumbent
  • Richard Retcho (Con)


BIOGRAPHIES

Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr (Dem) has been a City Council member from this area since 2002. He was the pastor of Christian Community Neighborhood Church. Diaz founded the Christian Community Benevolent Association in 1977, has operated three senior centers and a home attendant program for 1,000 clients in addition to the South Bronx Senior Transportation Network, which provides transportation for seniors. Diaz is also the president of the New York Hispanic Clergy and served on the Civilian Review Complaint Review Board.

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Richard Retcho (Con) is a computer consultant. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Chester Civic Improvement Association. Retcho earned a degree from Manhattan College.

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Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. (Dem/Rep) was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Mott Haven. Senator Espada is a product of the New York City public school system and received his B.A. from Fordham University in 1975. Senator Espada received certification from the New York University Real Estate Institute in 1990. In addition, he has received graduate training certificates from the Wharton School of Business, the Columbia University School of Public Health, and graduate-level training at the Hunter School of Social Work.

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.

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.


HOW OTHER ORGANIZATIONS RANKED SENATOR PEDRO ESPADA:

EMPIRE STATE PRIDE AGENDA

Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act

The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act adds actual or perceived sexual orientation to the state's existing laws which prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, disability or marital status.

Pride Agenda's Position: SUPPORT
Pedro Espada's Position: NO VOTE

Hate Crimes Act

The Hate Crimes Act enhances criminal penalties for a long list of crimes in which perpetrators intentionally select a target based on the victim's actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation. The Hate Crimes Act also requires the state to collect, analyze and annually report on data regarding hate crimes throughout the state.

Pride Agenda's Position: SUPPORT
Pedro Espada's Position: NO VOTE

THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF NEW YORK STATE

Taxable Status of Nuclear-Powered Electrical Generating Facilities Act

This measure establishes that nuclear powered electric generating facilities must pay property tax.

BC of NYS Position: SUPPORT
Pedro Espada's Position: NO VOTE

Plumbing Standards

This measure creates a new article in labor laws by providing standards for plumbing materials and makes certain plumbing and piping provisions of the state uniform fire prevention and building code.

BC of NYS Position: OPPOSITION
Pedro Espada's Position: NO VOTE


PRIMARY ELECTION - SEPTEMBER 10, 2002

Candidates:
  • Ruben Diaz, Sr. (Dem - Primary Winner)
  • Pedro Espada, Jr. (Dem/Rep) Incumbent
  • Richard Retcho (Con)

November 4, 2002

In one television ad, a candidate accused his rival of having once been a drug dealer. In response, the target of the charge put out a television ad that accused the first candidate of being bereft of principles and a "sellout."These are the themes of the final week of the race in the 32nd State Senate District, a swath of the South Bronx that for the last few months has been the scene of one of the most unusual, contentious and litigious political races New York City has seen. (New York Times)

October 23, 2002

An appeals court yesterday ruled against Bronx State Sen. Pedro Espada Jr., who had sought a runoff election to unseat the winner of the Democratic primary, charging election fraud.Espada said he will not seek to appeal the ruling by a four-judge panel of the Appellate Division, First Department, in Manhattan, but will focus instead on beating the party-backed candidate, City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. (D-Soundview), in the Nov. 5 general election. (Daily News)

October 18, 2002

The Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr.'s Democratic primary win over state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. was put on temporary hold by a appeals judge yesterday. Appellate Division Judge David Saxe issued a temporary stay and attorneys for both sides are due to argue Monday before the full court in Manhattan whether it should overturn Tuesday's ruling by Bronx State Supreme Court Justice Robert Seewald that Espada had not proven his case of election fraud. (NY Daily News)

October 17, 2002

The Espada political dynasty took another body blow yesterday as incumbent Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo beat challenger Pedro G. Espada in Tuesday's special election.The court-ordered do-over election was held on the same day state Supreme Court Justice Robert Seewald - who ordered the runoff - ruled against the challenger's father, incumbent State Senator Pedro Espada (D-Bronx), declaring City Councilman Ruben Diaz (D-Soundview) the winner of their squeaker of a primary race last month. (NY Daily News) (New York Times)

October 16, 2002

After nearly three weeks of legal disputes and court-supervised ballot counting, a State Supreme Court judge in the Bronx ordered yesterday that the Board of Elections certify Ruben Diaz Sr. as the winner of the Democratic primary for a State Senate seat. He had a lead of 97 votes over the incumbent, Pedro Espada Jr. (New York Times)

October 11, 2002

The Espada-Diaz state Senate slugfest has gone from slinging mud to filing lawsuits. In the latest turn of this campaign's downward spiral, dueling multimillion-dollar lawsuits have cropped up around accusations and revelations about City Councilman Ruben Diaz's 1965 conviction on heroin-peddling charges, (NY Daily News)

October 10, 2002

A political slugfest between two Bronx legislators has gotten down and drug dirty with charges that one lied about being a convicted heroin dealer.State Sen. Pedro Espada (D-Bronx), who is fighting to keep his South Bronx seat, launched a TV commercial in English and Spanish this week dredging up City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr.'s decades-old arrest. The commercial calls Diaz a heroin dealer. (NY Daily News)

September 25, 2002

Amid allegations of poll irregularities, a State Supreme Court justice ordered the City Board of Elections yesterday to delay the certification of the results of the Democratic primary in Bronx races for the State Senate and Assembly. (New York Times) (Daily News)

September 19, 2002

In one of the most memorable - and turbulent - Bronx primary races in recent memory, state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and veteran South Bronx Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo appeared yesterday to be losers after a vote recount. (Daily News)

September 13, 2002

Board of Elections officials will begin recounts today in two hotly contested Bronx races from Tuesday's Democratic primary. One contest, between incumbent South Bronx Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo and former City Councilman Pedro G. Espada in the South Bronx's 84th Assembly District, ended in an almost unheard-of dead heat. The other - a down-to-the-wire race in Senate District 32 between incumbent state Senator Pedro Espada Jr. and party-backed City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. - ended with Diaz holding a 162-vote lead and proclaiming victory. But Espada Jr. is challenging the results in court and will have the votes recounted. (Daily News)

September 12, 2002

State Senator Pedro G. Espada Jr. called for a court-sanctioned investigation yesterday after he came up 162 votes short in a contest in the Soundview and Mott Haven neighborhoods of the Bronx against City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. (New York Times)

September 10, 2002

After weeks of twists and turns, substitutions and deletions, there will be two candidates for the State Senate on the ballot today in the Democratic primary in the 32nd District in the Bronx.Shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday, the New York State Court of Appeals issued a ruling that effectively placed Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. back on the ballot. (New York Times) (New York Daily News)

September 4, 2002

Every once in a while something new actually happens in New York politics. The recent Republican conversions of two former Democrats now running for the state Senate -- Bronx incumbent Pedro Espada and Rochester assemblyman Joe Robach -- were just such watershed events. (Village Voice)

September 2, 2002

Pedro Espada Jr. and Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr.'s activity has all the trappings of a competitive Democratic primary campaign in the 32nd State Senate District, in other words, business as usual. But the race, nonetheless, has proven itself to be one of the most uncommon and unpredictable of this political season. And with just more than a week until primary day, Sept. 10, no one involved in or knowledgeable about Bronx politics would predict what candidate -- if any -- would remain on the Democratic Party's ballot by the time the polls open. (New York Times)

August 31, 2002

The Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the Bronx County Democratic leaders can determine whether Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. is still "in sympathy with the principles" of the Democratic Party. The judges upheld a lower court's findings that Espada could not be expelled from the Democratic Party based solely on his February pronouncement that he was going to change his party enrollment and join the Republican majority in the Senate. (Times Union)

August 23, 2002

A State Senate district in the Bronx that started the day without any candidates on the Democratic primary ballot ended the day with two, after an appeals court restored the incumbent, Pedro Espada Jr., and the party organization backed the candidacy of the Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr., a city councilman. (New York Times) (New York Daily News)

August 22, 2002

City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. emerged yesterday as the leading contender to challenge State Sen. Pedro Espada for his South Bronx seat.Sources said that besides Diaz (D-Soundview), who would not have to give up his Council seat to run, another contender would be David Rosado, who formerly held the state Senate seat before he was defeated by Espada.Bronx Democratic Party officials have been casting about to find a replacement for their original candidate, Raysa Castillo, since a judge ordered her signature petitions invalidated over the question of her legal residency. (New York Daily News)

August 20, 2002

In a blow to the Bronx Democratic Party organization, a State Supreme Court justice ruled yesterday that the candidate backed by the party for a State Senate seat be removed from the ballot because she did not meet the residency requirements.The justice, Robert G. Seewald, said the candidate, Raysa Castillo, a lawyer, had too many inconsistencies in her claims of Bronx residency. (New York Times)

August 19, 2002

A State Supreme Court referee recommended on Friday that Raysa Castillo, the candidate backed by the Bronx Democratic Party organization to run for the senate seat now held by Pedro Espada Jr., be removed from the ballot for the Sept. 10 primary. (New York Times) (New York Daily News)

August 14, 2002

Bronx State Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. was a Democrat again yesterday, at least for the moment.His expulsion by Bronx Democratic Party officials for canoodling with Albany Senate Republicans was upheld Friday by a judge. But on Monday, an appeals court judge issued a stay, letting Espada remain in the party for now. (New York Daily News)

August 12, 2002

The hottest political battle in the Bronx rolls into court and the Board of Elections this week.State Sen. Pedro Espada Jr., his expulsion from the Democratic Party upheld by a judge Friday, is expected to appeal. (New York Daily News)

August 8, 2002

The Democrats' choice to oppose Bronx state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. appears to have a residency problem, dealing a potential blow to the party's dream of wresting control of the Senate from Republicans this year. (New York Daily News)

July 23, 2002

State Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. found himself embroiled yesterday in yet another controversy. Espada, whom Bronx Democrats have been trying to kick out of the party for switching his loyalty to Albany Republicans, funneled $745,000 in so-called pork-barrel funds to a Soundview community group that he heads and from which he draws more than $200,000 a year in salary. (Daily News)

July 22, 2002

The New York State Legislature has approved a budget that included $745,000 in grants to a nonprofit community group that State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx heads, and that pays him more than $200,000 a year. The grants were among Mr. Espada's "member items," the discretionary pork-barrel money legislators get to dole out as they see fit. (New York Times)

July 13, 2002

Raysa Castillo, the Bronx Democratic Party's nominee to oppose State Senator Pedro Espada Jr., officially announced her candidacy yesterday. Castillo, a lawyer who has worked with several nonprofit advocacy groups, said yesterday that her effort to become the state's first female Dominican senator would be a broad-based campaign with support throughout the mostly Democratic 32nd Senate District, which includes Mott Haven, Morrisania and Soundview in the Bronx. (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.

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