Ruben Diaz Jr. announces he won’t run for public advocate

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In one sense, 2013 won't be all that historic after all.

After no Hispanic candidates ran for citywide office in 2005, next year's elections presented the possibility for two Hispanic candidates to run citywide, with former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr., publicly considering a run for mayor, and the current Bronx borough president, Ruben Diaz Jr., quietly eyeing a run for public advocate. The last Hispanic to run citywide was Fernando Ferrer, the Democratic mayoral candidate, in 2005.

But Diaz announced today he will seek re-election to borough hall next year, instead of entering the public advocate race.

In an email to supporters, Diaz wrote:

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"The needs of the people of the Bronx are foremost on my mind and in my heart. Therefore, I have decided to run for re-election as Bronx Borough President in 2013."

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"I am extremely appreciative of the encouragement I’ve received, and I hope that support will transfer to my quest for re-election. I am proud to serve as your borough president, and I look forward to four more years in borough hall."

Last week, Diaz's spokesman said his boss was still considering a citywide run. The move frees up Diaz to be courted by the other citywide candidates.

It also apperas to give a boost to Councilwoman Letitia James of Brooklyn, who is looking to run for public advocate. Without a Hispanic lawmaker in the race, she has a greater chance of picking up those potential voters. Also expected to enter the race are State Senator Daniel Squadron, who represents Brooklyn and Manhattan; Reshma Saujani who worked for the current public advocate and prior to that, ran for congress; Community Education Council member Noah Gotbaum of Manhattan; and Columbia professor Catherine Guerriero.

Here's Diaz's full email:

During the past few months I have traveled to every corner of our great city, talking with individuals and organizations of all stripes, as well as my family, staff and those close to me, about the future of New York City and my own political future, as I explored the possibility of running for Public Advocate in 2013.

The future of New York City is no inconsequential topic, and the significant issues that face our five boroughs--from the economy and job creation, to crime and policing, to education and our social services--were at the forefront of these substantive, thought-provoking discussions.

In these conversations, I was touched by so many expressions of support for our work in this borough, and by so many kind words encouraging me to pursue Citywide elected office. I was heartened, and humbled, to learn that the work we are doing in the Bronx is resonating across the City. And that work has been considerable.

We have encouraged companies to move to the Bronx, not only from other boroughs but from other states and countries, while strengthening the economy for businesses that are already here. We’ve fundamentally transformed the way our City does business with our taxpayer dollars through the passage of the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act, which ensures that projects that take heavily from taxpayer funding pay their employees a ‘living wage.’

We have outlined a strong case for reforming our public schools, and for restoring the promise of our specialized high schools for all students, all while providing tens of millions of dollars in funding to our schools for equipment upgrades and new technology. We have leveraged $60 million in capital funding into more than $600 million in new housing development, creating thousands of new housing units--and jobs--in the process.

We have helped usher in major developments--and new jobs with them--in every corner of the Bronx, and have stood with Mayor Bloomberg and his administration to bring responsible development to the Kingsbridge Armory. We have outlined a plan, together with the MTA, to bring Metro-North service to the east Bronx, and we have realized the promise of a major hotel chain making its home in our borough. We do all of this with a focus on “green” development, ensuring a healthier environment while also preparing our borough for the economy of tomorrow.

There are many issues that still face our borough, and many amazing projects that are in the works. My administration has, since first taking office in 2009, focused on new job creation, education, business development and transportation, among other issues, as we seek to transform the Bronx into an even greater place to live, work and raise a family.

The needs of the people of the Bronx are foremost on my mind and in my heart. Therefore, I have decided to run for re-election as Bronx Borough President in 2013.

We have seen tremendous success in the Bronx in recent years. But there is still more work to be done. I wish to see these projects and others to completion, and I will work with our elected officials, government agencies, business and non-profit communities, as well as the residents of the Bronx as a whole, to make that happen.

During the coming months I look forward to meeting with the candidates for mayor, comptroller and public advocate. I intend to outline my vision for the future of the Bronx and the entire City, and I will listen to and carefully consider their ideas as I make my decisions regarding who will best represent the people of this City.

I am extremely appreciative of the encouragement I’ve received, and I hope that support will transfer to my quest for re-election. I am proud to serve as your borough president, and I look forward to four more years in borough hall.

I hope that you and your family have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

NOTE: An earlier version of this article omitted the name of one likely public advocate candidate.