How he would tackle the 11.8 percent unemployment rate: Mr. Diaz said the outlet mall planned near Whitestone Cinemas, Fresh Direct and the Armory, along with the creation of a golf course managed by Donald Trump and several other developments, will employ Bronxites and boost the surrounding economy.
“That’s why I need another four years, because I understand already the initial negations and I have those relationships with people and the respect of different industries to make sure that we see it through,” Mr. Diaz said.
On community board nominations: Mr. Diaz said he thinks the nomination process for community boards — his office selects candidates nominated by city council members — is “excellent.” He said he was thankful for the opportunity to work with so many dedicated Bronxites.
Name: Mark Escoffery-Bey
Current Job: Copy Center Owner
Why he is running: Mr. Escoffery-Bey said he is running because he wants to counter what he views as political dynasties in the Bronx. As evidence of nepotism, Mr. Escoffery-Bey noted that several families have more than one member in office, including the Arroyo, Serrano and Diaz families. He said Democratic leaders in the borough often knock people off the ballot even when they have the required number of valid signatures.
When he was elected to the Assembly 77 Democratic Male District leader post in 2010, Mr. Escoffery-Bey said fellow politicians shunned him because he was an independent voice.
Mr. Escoffery-Bey has highlighted Mr. Diaz’s relationship with the Bronx County Democratic Committee, saying others associated with it have been indicted and convicted.
“It’s high time we stand up and tell these political leaders who are not serving our community to pack their bags and get out,” Mr. Escoffery-Bey said.
Mr. Diaz’s record is clean, with no legal or ethical misconduct allegations since his election to public office as an Assemblyman in 1997. Mr. Diaz’s father, Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. currently serves in the Assembly, but the father took office after the son.