5:16 pm Nov. 16, 2012
Adolfo Carrion Jr. may not be the only Hispanic candidate running for mayor.
State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., an evangelical Christian and leader of the New York Hispanic Clergy, is encouraging a member of the organization, Rev. Erick Salgado, to enter the race for mayor as a conservative Democrat, the senator confirmed.
Salgado is also in talks with operatives in Brooklyn's Russian-Jewish community and has met several times with Democratic operatives there, according to two sources.
Diaz, who opposes same-sex marriage, abortion and supports prayer in public schools, said religious and Hispanic voters do not see a valid option among the current crop of mayoral candidates from either party.
I asked Diaz about his fellow Bronx politician, Carrion, the former borough president and White House Urban Affairs director who left the Democratic Party and is in talks to run as a Republican.
"Carrion is liberal. Carrion is not a conservative guy," Diaz said. "He used to be a Democrat, he is not a conservative guy."
Carrion considers himself no slave to party dogma, and has rankled some organized labor groups and progressives with his views on housing and economic development.
Diaz, who defined conservative Democrats based on their stance on "gay marriage, abortion, prayer in schools, charter schools, and religious schools," told me "sooner or later, we have to get to a point where people have to start noticing us."
Diaz said the "Spanish Christian community is organizing to put their own candidate in the race," but said Salgado is still considering whether to ultimately run.