WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Mayoral hopeful Rev. Erick Salgado officially opened his first campaign office in Washington Heights Thursday, hoping to leverage northern Manhattan's predominantly Latino community to break through in a crowded Democratic field.
On a chilly overcast morning, about a dozen supporters, including 10th District City Council Candidate Miguel Estrella, came out to join Salgado in unveiling the small, one room office on West 180th Street where he hopes to woo voters.
The relatively unknown candidate dismissed suggestions that he had no shot in the mayoral race.
"A reporter told me: 'You're doing okay in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, but you don't look good in Manhattan,'" Salgado said. "I guess he didn't realize that Washington Heights was in Manhattan. We are doing tremendously well in Washington Heights."
Salgado, a Bronx-born minister who lives on Staten Island, is running as a conservative Democrat. Salgado has come out against gay marriage and abortion, but has stated that those are federal matters.
He also stated that as mayor he would give tax breaks to small businesses and create a New York City ID card for use by undocumented immigrants.
Though he has participated in several debates, but has been overshadowed by some of the bigger names in the race, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller Bill Thompson.
Still, Salgado said that as the campaign moves along the city will see that he is a serious candidate.
"I am for real," Salgado said, "And the people who I represent are also real."