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  Democrats grapple for open congressional seat in the Bronx
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Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Sep 22, 2019 12:20pm
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AuthorErin Durkin
News DateSunday, September 22, 2019 10:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionNEW YORK — Ruben Diaz Sr.’s enemies call him a homophobic egomaniac — more of a mini-Trump than a Democrat.

But they also insist the longtime New York legislator is the man to beat in the South Bronx as Rep. José Serrano prepares to retire next year after nearly three decades in office, leaving a wide-open race in one of the poorest, most Democratic districts in America.

Welcome to one of the more unusual 2020 Democratic primaries, a brewing Bronx showdown where the staunchly conservative Pentecostal reverend with a history of controversial anti-gay comments is facing off against a host of progressive candidates — including Ritchie Torres, a 31-year-old gay Council member who enjoys a large financial advantage in the race, but maintains that he is the underdog.

“Ruben Diaz Sr. is the frontrunner by default. If the race were held today, he would win on the sheer strength of name recognition,” Torres said.

“There’s a real risk that the most Democratic Congressional district in America could be represented by a de facto Trump Republican,” he said. “The notion of Ruben Diaz Sr. succeeding a larger than life icon like Jose Serrano represents a nightmare for the Democratic party, for the progressive movement.”
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