Diana Ayala y Robert Rodríguez, candidatos en esta contienda, se han hecho acusaciones mutuas previo a las votaciones que se llevarán a cabo el 12 de septiembre.
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As a result of term limits, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will leave the council at the end of 2017. A fierce primary battle among Democrats is raging to fill the eighth council district seat, which not only encompasses East Harlem but also parts of the South Bronx. Errol Louis moderates a debate between the three leading candidates in that primary: Robert Rodriguez, the state assemblyman for part of the area; small business owner Tamika Mapp; and Diana Ayala, a longtime community leader who is a former staff member to Mark-Viverito.
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Melissa Mark-Viverito, the Speaker of the City Council, is term-limited and leaving office at the end of this year, which, aside from indicating that there will be a new leader of the Council, means her position representing the Council’s 8th District is “open.”
Since 2005, Mark-Viverito has represented the district, which includes East Harlem and parts of the South Bronx. New York State Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez, whose district encompasses much of District 8, and Diana Ayala, a former Mark-Viverito staffer who the speaker has endorsed as her preferred successor, are in a highly competetive race for the seat.
Ayala, 43, has appeared at multiple campaign events alongside her former boss, for whom she was constituent services director and deputy chief of staff. Mark-Viverito has also been door-knocking in the district with Ayala, attempting to use her name recognition to boost Ayala’s, which is far behind Rodriguez’s given his stature as an elected official.
Several other electeds from the area have endorsed Ayala, too. These include Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Congressional Rep. Adriano Espaillat, and City Council Members Rafael Salamanca, Ritchie Torres, and Annabel Palma of the Bronx.
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