On June 23, 2020, primary elections will be held in congressional races, State Senate races, and State Assembly races throughout New York. In addition, a Democratic presidential primary will be held, as will a special election to fill a vacancy in New York’s 27th congressional district.
In New York’s 15th congressional district, Rep. José E. Serrano is retiring after 30 years in Congress. Rep. Serrano, 76, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A dozen New York City Democrats have launched congressional candidacies in NY-15. According to City & State New York, the congressional race in NY-15 is “the busiest race in the state.” Because the district is also the most heavily Democratic congressional district in New York, the victor in the June 23 Democratic primary is nearly assured of victory in the general election.
The Democratic primary candidates in NY-15 are:
- Frangell Basora, former congressional intern;
- Asm. Michael Blake, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee;
- NYC Council Member Rev. Ruben Diaz;
- Mark Escoffery-Bey, copy center owner and former candidate for Bronx Borough President;
- Samelys Lopez, housing activist;
- Melissa Mark-Viverito, former New York City Council Speaker;
- Chivona Newsome; insurance agent and director of operations for Black Lives Matter;
- Julio Pabon, entrepreneur;
- Tomas Ramos, nonprofit program director;
- NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez;
- Marlene Tapper, former New York City Council aide; and
- NYC Council Member Ritchie Torres.
In the lead-up to the June 23 primary, various liberal political groups are making their voices heard in NY-15. While these groups are divided about which candidate to support, they are united in their opposition to one candidate: New York City Council Member Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. As many Christian New Yorkers will recall, Council Member Diaz is a former member of the New York State Senate. During his 15-year Senate tenure, Council Member Diaz—who is a Pentecostal minister—was known as the most outspoken pro-life, pro-family member of the Legislature; his defense of life and family has earned enmity from many on the left.
According to the New York Post, “progressives are freaking out because private polling shows that Diaz [has] 80 percent name recognition among voters in the district and could win the primary in a crowded field…”