Diaz, Jr. defeats Ribustello for BP post

New Borough President Ruben Diaz spoke of the need to get beyond differences and work together as citizens of a united borough during his election night victory speech on Tuesday, April 21. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

As was expected, Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr. easily coasted to victory over Republican district leader Anthony Ribustello in a special election held on Tuesday, April 21 for former borough president.

Diaz was elected with more than 21,000 votes cast for him. He garnered 87% of all ballots in the special election to fill the vacancy created when former Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. joined President Obama’s administration.

At a victory celebration held at Maestro’s Caterers at 1703 Bronxdale Avenue after the polls closed, Borough President Diaz spoke of the need to unite the entire Bronx behind one clear agenda that promises economic opportunity for all.

“This election was about coalition building,” Diaz said. “From now on, we are going to look at the Bronx as one borough.”

Diaz spoke of both young people and working people who are living in the borough and need economic opportunities.

“Understand that tonight there are young men and women out there who want nothing more than to have better opportunities here in the Bronx,” Diaz said in his victory speech.

Diaz added: “Understand we are going to push forward one Bronx agenda. Let’s get the message out to the city of New York, the state of New York, and the nation that the people of the borough of the Bronx deserve the very best.”

Diaz chose Assemblywoman Aurelia Greene as his deputy borough president, replacing Earl Brown.

“Aurelia Greene will be an outstanding deputy borough president,” Diaz said. “Her leadership and experience in meeting the diverse needs of Bronx communities will be an invaluable asset as we work together to improve the quality of life for the people of our great borough.”

Diaz represented the 85th Assembly district, which includes parts of Soundview and Hunts Point, since taking office at the age of 24 in January 1997.

Diaz was elected to six consecutive terms in the state Assembly. He took an active stand in the shooting death of Amadou Diallo, in the process becoming internationally known as a man dedicated to civil and human rights.

Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., Assemblyman Carl Heastie, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz, Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, and Councilman James Vacca were among the many elected officials in attendance during Diaz’s victory celebration.

“Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is a bright, energetic, youthful leader who will work to bring jobs and prosperity to the Bronx,” Benedetto said.

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