Saturday, February 21, 2009

Unofficial Democratic County Vote Goes For Diaz, Others Show Support At Campaign Meetup

A few notes...

--This morning, an unofficial meeting of the Bronx Democratic district leaders and other elected officials was held at the party's new HQ on Eastchester Road. According to the reports of several attendees, Assemblyman Ruben Diaz received the support of every district leader in attendance save one, who abstained. While several district leaders did not attend the vote (note--all were invited), I am assured that a majority of district leaders were in the room when the vote was taken.

Several elected officials voiced their support for Diaz's campaign at the meeting. Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, also attended the meeting, but did not voice support for any candidate. Arroyo is considered to be a supporter of Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera. I am also told no one at the meeting spoke up for Rivera.

--At the Diaz Campaign meeting later in the day, sources connected to that campaign tell me over 100 attended the event from all corners of the Borough. "This is a grassroots effort, and we have the troops to prove it," said one Diaz supporter.

Elected officials at the meeting included City Council Members Helen Diane Foster and Jimmy Vacca, both of whom had been considered potential candidates for the post. Diaz spoke, and thanked them for their support, specifically mentioning that he knew they had also thought of running.

Other elected officials at the meeting included County Chairman and Assemblyman Carl Heastie, City Councilwoman Annabel Palma, Assembly Members Jeff Dinowitz, Aurelia Greene, Mike Benjamin and Michael Benedetto; and State Senators Rev. Ruben Diaz (surprise!) and Ruth Hassell-Thompson.

UPDATE: I have been informed that the Diaz meeting was for "captains," meaning that these volunteers will lead the efforts for Diaz (polling, petitions, recruitment) in their respective communities. As it was explained to me, the Diaz campaign expects many, many more people to jump aboard the effort through the work of these individuals.

SECOND UPDATE: There is some confusion on the street as to whether or not the endorsement meeting was "unofficial," as several observers have stated to me today the the Bronx Democratic County Organization has actually endorsed Diaz. I'll wait for the press release.

THIRD UPDATE: It's official.

FOURTH UPDATE: A previous version of this post indicated that Councilman G. Oliver Koppell had spoken up in favor of Diaz during the meeting of the county organization. In fact, Koppell offered high praise of Heastie, but I have conflicting reports regarding what he said about Diaz, though he certainly did not speak out in opposition to him.

--John DeSio

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