Election Day choices abound in the Bronx

“Too often if feels like the ‘Tale of Two Boroughs.’ We’re either one city or we’re not. We must have a City Hall that supports all New Yorkers equally - no matter what borough they happen to live in.”—Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Democratic nominee for the 13th City Council District.
Photo courtesy of Gjonaj campaign

Voters in the borough will have choices on Election Day.

All three citywide major offices – mayor, public advocate and comptroller – are up for grabs on Tuesday, November 7.

In the borough, the most competitive race between major party candidates will likely be in the east Bronx’s Council District 13 where Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and local activist John Cerini are facing off against one another on the Democratic and Republican lines.

The assemblyman, who already represents part of the 13th district, has made oversaturation of supportive housing and ensuring that the borough has ferry service central priorities in his campaign.

Gjonaj said in a statement that the city has to either be one city or not.

“We must have a City Hall that supports all New Yorkers equally – no matter what borough they happen to live in,” said Gjonaj.

Gjonaj, a married father of two sons, has garnered the support of a number of labor unions, as well as most local elected officials and Governor Cuomo.

His opponent, Cerini, sees overdevelopment as the key issue in his own Pelham Bay community and elsewhere in the district.

He cited several construction projects in the community where former single-family properties are being converted into large apartment buildings by developers.

He believes that he would fight harder against overdevelopment than his opponent.

“I know the struggles of the homeowner, the parent, the small business owner,” said Cerini, who is a father of four and business owner.

“I can relate to everything that people are struggling with and hopefully we can work together to resolve these issues.”

Cerini has the support of the New York Post and Nicole Malliotakis, Republican mayoral candidate.

A number of third party candidates also are in the race, including Marjorie Velazquez on the Working Families line, John Doyle on the Liberal line, both of who ran against Gjonaj in the Democratic primary, and Alex Gomez on the New Bronx line.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is up for re-election this year, and is facing opposition from Camella Price, running on the Reform line, as well as Republican Steven DeMartis and Conservative Antonio Vitello.

Diaz has made it is his priorities attracting positive development, creating educational equality and taking care of health disparities.

In the 14th Council District, Councilman Fernando Cabrera faces a challenge on the Working Families line from Randy Abreau, an attorney who was an official in the Obama administration.

Another Cabrera challenger is Justin Sanchez, who will be on the Liberal party line.

In the 18th Council District, Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. is running to replace term-limited Councilwoman Annabel Palma, who will take a post in the second de Blasio administration, should the mayor win a second term.

Diaz said in statement that he was frustrated with trying to pass bills in the Republican-controlled New York State Senate.

“In the council, I can deliver both more funding for local programs, work on increasing the charter school cap, support more affordable housing and funding for senior programs – including housing, as well work to improve public safety,” said Diaz.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
“I know the struggles of the homeowner, the parent, the small business owner,” — John Cerini
Photo courtesy of John Cerini

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