A special election is expected to be called for a vacant Bronx senate seat sometime next year.
While the date has not yet been announced, Governor Cuomo will probably call for a special election in the spring for the 32nd Senate District.
Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., who is moving on to the NYC City Council to replace the term-limited Councilwoman Annabel Palma, previously held the seat.
The election may possibly occur after the state budget is finalized in mid-April, a source with knowledge of state politics said. The governor also has the option to leave the seat vacant for its remaining term.
The district covers Parkchester, Longwood, West Farms, and parts of Soundview, Melrose and Hunts Point.
Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, a progressive Democrat who represents parts of the 32nd Senate District in the assembly, said he is running for the spot.
Sepulveda said he has a close working relationships with Diaz and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, the Bronx Democratic County Party Leader who represents communities in the 32nd District.
The assemblyman was also a Democratic district leader in the 85th Assembly District, currently represented by Crespo, and was a member of Holy Cross Church located in the district he hopes to represent, he said.
“I have ties to big parts of the senate district,” said Sepulveda, adding “I am proud of the work we have done in the Assembly and I would like to continue that work in the Senate.”
The assemblyman, who has served in the chamber since 2013, has been a strong proponent of ‘Raise the Age’ legislation recently signed into law to lift the age of adult criminal liability from 16-years-old to 18-years-old.
He said that he felt that this was something that lifted an onus off young people of color, as well as youth who are suffering from mental illnesses and who could use treatment, not jail.
The assemblyman is an advocate for helping immigrants, he said.
He said he also worked on legislation complementing efforts of President Obama’s administrations efforts to help ‘DREAMers’, young people who were brought by their parents into the United States as children.
A local issue Sepulveda said he worked on with other electeds was to convince the Parkchester South Condominium to stager its steep 15.19% maintenance charge increase over four years, he said.
He also similarly worked to help tenants in Mitchell-Lama housing, the assemblyman said.
Another top community concern is making sure there is a good working relationship between police and the community.
Sepulveda was one of a handful of assembly members who supported Bernie Sanders in his presidential bid.
“I am a progressive who believes in helping the middle class, and my policies are geared toward seeing that everyone gets a fair shake,” said Sepulveda, adding he works to see that the communities of color he represents get their fair share of state budgets.
Over the past five years, the assemblyman said he has learned how to conquer obstacles, artificial or otherwise, to get legislation passed, projects funded or polices enacted.
He feels being a lawyer has been an asset for him in the legislature, he said.
If elected, Sepulveda said he would caucus with the regular Democrats, not the Independent Democratic Caucus, because he believes he can get more done with Democratic majority.
He added he’s met with Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat who is currently the assembly’s minority leader and Senator Jeff Klein, IDC leader, and respects both greatly.
Sepulveda has two children, a 25-year-old and a six-year-old, and is a Civil War buff.