PHOTO: Last night in University Heights, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. handed out turkeys with District Leader Hector Ramirez.
District Leader Hector Ramirez is actively drumming up support for a 2010 run against 86th District Assemblyman Nelson Castro, the Norwood News has learned.
Though Ramirez has yet to make an official announcment, two sources close to Ramirez who requested anonymity, said that Ramirez was working to position himself for a run at Castro's seat, which he will have to defend come next election season.
The sources also said that if Ramirez does run, he will enjoy the backing of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., who was influential in Fernando Cabrera's upset primary victory over incumbent Council member Maria Baez in September.
Last night, Ramirez looked the part of campaigning candidate (see above picture) as he handed out Thanksgiving turkeys to local residents with Diaz in University Heights.
Diaz spokesperson John DeSio would only say that the borough president has handed out a lot of turkeys (some 4,000, DeSio says) and that it was Ramirez who brought the gigantic banner that prominently features both Ramirez and Diaz, Jr. Clearly, Diaz, Jr. didn't object to the photo op. But for now, DeSio said he couldn't comment further.
In August of 2008, when Castro's predecessor, Luis Diaz, left his position and took a job with Gov. David Paterson, the Bronx Democratic County Committee passed over Ramirez, a long-time party loyalist, and chose Castro, a relative new face in Bronx politics, to fill the vacancy. Many, including Luis Diaz and Castro himself, were surprised by the decision made by then-Democratic County boss Jose Rivera.
In the end, Castro, a former registered Republican who moved to the Bronx from Washington Heights a few years ago, became the first Dominican assemblyman from the Bronx, not Ramirez. (For more on Castro, read this story from the Mount Hope Monitor.)
But now, with Rivera out and Assemblyman Carl Heastie running the County party, it looks like we could be in for a serious fight between Democratic rivals in the 86th.