Crespo and Gibson win elections

(Right) New Assembly members Marcos Crespo and Vanessa Gibson join hands at a victory celebration on Tuesday, June 2. (L-r) Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Carl Heastie, Marcos Crespo, and Vanessa Gibson, Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene, and Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

The special elections on Tuesday, June 2 sent two new Assembly members from the Bronx to Albany.

The winners of the races in the 77th and 85th assembly districts will replace two of the borough’s most well-known elected officials, both of whom have gone on to meet new challenges as the borough president and deputy borough president.

Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson fills the vacancy in 77th District caused by the departure of new Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene, while Marcos Crespo steps into the position formally occupied by Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“I look forward to working hard in what I have to do, putting every ounce of energy to at least come close to doing what [Ruben Diaz Jr.] has done,” said Assemblyman Crespo, to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters in a post-election celebration at Maestro’s Caterers at 1703 Bronxdale Avenue.

According to an Associated Press report, Crespo defeated Republican opponent Leopold Paul for the Soundview seat that Diaz has held since 1997. Gibson came out as the clear winner in a three-way race against Joel Rivera, a Conservative, and Barbara Bowland, a Republican. Gibson’s district covers the Highbridge area.

At the celebration, Vanessa Gibson’s mentor Aurelia Greene spoke of her protégé, whom she trained first as an intern and then as an employee.

“She was willing to learn anything she needed to learn to make me look good,” Greene said of Gibson. “Today is proof of what she is capable of doing.”

After thanking supporters, Gibson pledged to serve the constituents of her district, and work to make sure that the entire Bronx is heard from in Albany.

“I look forward to working with each and every one of you so we can make our district better, so we can make the Bronx a bigger and better county in the State of New York,” Gibson said.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. saw the elections as both a victory for the Bronx Democratic Party under the leadership of Assemblyman Carl Heastie, and as a wake up call that the borough only intends to send its best to Albany.

“The Deputy Borough President and I care about who represents the 77th and 85th assembly districts because we have been there so long,” Diaz said in his speech. “We know we are going to have great partners in Albany. We are giving them the very best of the Bronx.”

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