By LORETTA CHIN
Originally published on Brooklyn News Service on May 7, 2013.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said on Tuesday that he needed a partner as he endorsed former City Comptroller William Thompson for mayor.
Before a phalanx of reporters on the steps of City Hall Diaz praised Thompson as someone who for so many years has “fought the good fight to make New York a better place to live “ and urged Democrats in his borough and beyond to support Thompson.
“My borough is a borough that is on the cusp of turning the corner and I need a partner,” Diaz said. “The Bronx needs a partner—someone who has shown to be a partner—someone who’s been there for the Bronx—someone who’s been there for the Latino community—someone who’s been there for all of us, and Bill Thompson is that partner.”
He spoke of the rapid growth and development of his borough with over $700 million in housing development over the last four years.
“The Bronx is a place where corporate America is taking a new look,” he said, adding that Macy’s was building the largest mall in the city in the Bronx.
When asked about the other mayoral candidates, Diaz said that as a Democrat, he considered endorsing all the Democratic candidates.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I know them,” Diaz said. “I have spoken to them. I know their character. I know their temperament.” He said that Thompson had the character, resume and temperament to move New York City in the right direction for all New Yorkers.
The admiration was mutual for Thompson, who said that he was not only a fan, but an admirer of Diaz whom he has known for a long, long time and to which Diaz whispered as an aside to him, “20 years.”
Thompson said that the people of the Bronx needed someone who was going to fight for them, to work to bring good paying jobs to the Bronx and who will continue to build green affordable housing.
When Diaz was questioned about his father, Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr.’s endorsement of another democratic candidate, Erick Selgado, Diaz replied, “My father’s been wrong before—my father’s wrong now.”