A little political food for thought on this rainy Friday.
First of all, cross another name off the list of candidates in the race for the 14th District Council seat. Former state senator and city council member Israel Ruiz, Jr. said today that he will not be running for the hot seat currently occupied by Maria Baez.
For the past few months, Ruiz had been indicating that he wanted to re-enter Bronx politics. First, he hinted at a run in the special election for borough president. Then, after withdrawing his name from that conversation, he said he might joining the crowded race to unseat Baez.
Today, however, after speaking with County Chair Carl Heastie earlier in the week, Ruiz said he's dropping his bid. And on his way out, he had some interesting things to say about the 14th District race, specifically, and Bronx politics, in general. Here's a little sample:
- If four candidates wind up on the 14th District Ballot, Ruiz says, Baez will almost certainly win.
- He says he's never heard of Fernando Cabrera, the Bronx Dems' and Working Families Party's chosen candidate.
- He says he only wanted to run in order to oust Baez, who he says is doing a terrible job of representing her constituents. He added that Baez's primary argument for re-election -that she brings money back into the district -- isn't valid because anyone in her position would get the same amount of funds to distribute.
- He says he hasn't decided who he will support but he like Miguel Santana because he thinks Santana's got a handle on policy issues.
- He likes new party boss Carl Heastie, but doesn't know if he'll be able to unify the party and actually affect real changes.
She also says the decision flies in the face of the party's attempt to unify the Bronx politicians. "If we’re talking about us as leaders, coming together, this is strange way of showing it," she said.
More on this later and other 14th District intrigue on Monday.