|State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.|
He was half right.
Diaz lamented Espada's loss to Gustavo Rivera on Tuesday night, but he's already looking ahead to life without him. In a press release, Diaz said he wanted to see a Hispanic lawmaker placed into the two positions of power Espada had carved out in the state senate: majority leader and housing committee chair.
He said he didn't want the positions himself, but offered up a handful of alternatives, including Rivera. Here's his full statement:
“As the Chair of the New York State Senate Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus, I must insist that since the voters of Senator Pedro Espada’s district have lost him as their Senator, New York’s Hispanic community must not also lose the leadership roles he had while in the State Senate.
Senator Espada served as Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, and more importantly, as the Senate Majority Leader. I will not accept a “one step forward, two steps backwards” approach toward participatory democracy for Hispanics in the Senate. I urge the Senate leadership and my Senate colleagues to select a Hispanic Senator to fill those positions.
I want it understood by my supporters and to my critics that I am not interested in either of those roles and I will not accept them even if offered.
I do believe that my colleagues , Senator Martin Malave Dilan, Senator Jose Peralta, Senator Jose Serrano, as well as Gustavo Rivera and Adriano Espaillat - who won last night’s election and will likely be sworn into office in January - should be selected to serve in these leadership positions.”