|Ruben Diaz, Jr. (File photo by Jordan Moss)|
The paper says:
Number 10: Ruben Diaz, Jr. The Bronx Borough President seems to have taken over the the spotlight from predecessors Adolfo Carrion, Jr. and Freddy Ferrer as the spokesman for the city's fast-rising Hispanic population. After winning the special election to become Bronx borough president, Diaz made his mark by attempting to have the Board of Education re-constituted and taken out of mayoral control. Last year, he took on the Mayor over the living wage issue at Kingsbridge, and in the election he went after Carl Paladino on Cuomo's behalf. He has emerged as the voice of the left, and while he remains coy about his intentions for higher office, it is clear that Diaz has become a major validator for aspiring pols.Also on the list: Rudy Giuliani, Christine Quinn, Anthony Weiner, Dan Cantor, Kirsten Gillibrand, Al Sharpton, Chuck Schumer, Michael Bloomberg, and Andrew Cuomo, the governor-elect, who earns the top spot.
Some may find Diaz's inclusion a curious one. These days, borough presidents have few official powers. Moreover, Diaz doesn't have the same name recognition as most of the others, at least outside the Bronx.
State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. also gets a mention in one of the Observer's "best of" lists. His defeat in September's primary, and the ousting of his colleague, Hiram Monserrate, means the once-powerful "Four Amigos" are no more. The paper calls their demise one of the biggest political stories of the year.