The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Bronx Democrats Endorse Rafael Salamanca for Arroyo's Council Seat

By Eddie Small | January 6, 2016 5:06pm
 The Bronx Democratic County Committee is endorsing Rafael Salamanca for the 17th City Council district.
The Bronx Democratic County Committee is endorsing Rafael Salamanca for the 17th City Council district.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Eddie Small

SOUTH BRONX — The Bronx Democratic Committee endorsed Rafael Salamanca for Maria del Carmen Arroyo's former seat on the City Council, selecting him from a host of other candidates.

Salamanca, who officially announced his campaign on Tuesday, serves as the district manager of Bronx Community Board 2 and as president of the 41st Precinct Community Council and said he would focus on issues like affordable housing, jobs and police-community relations if elected.

Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, chair of the Bronx Democratic Committee, described Salamanca in a statement as a "leader that we need" for the 17th City Council district in the South Bronx.

“Our Council Member needs to be a strong leader who can fight passionately for residents to help create more jobs, a leader who will work tirelessly to improve the quality of life for his/her neighbors, a leader with a proven record of getting things done and with a vision for moving the district forward,” he said.

Councilwoman Annabel Palma, Assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda and State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. all offered endorsements and praise for Salamanca as well, with Sepúlveda calling him a "courageous and effective fighter."

"He is exceedingly bright, passionately committed to making a difference, and I know he will be a terrific champion for his constituents,” he said in a statement.

Salamanca said that he was very grateful to have the support of so many prominent Democrats in The Bronx.

“I look forward to being able to work alongside all of them as a member of the City Council to improve our schools, create more affordable housing and make sure our streets are safe,” he said in a statement.

Arroyo made a surprise announcement in November that she would resign from her council seat effective Dec. 31, and the special election to replace her will take place on Feb. 23.

The Democratic Committee chose Salamanca over several other people who have expressed interest in running for Arroyo's seat, including her chief of staff Joann Otero, activist and businessman Julio Pabón, Rep. Jose Serrano staffer Amanda Septimo, preacher and businessman Rev. J. Loren Russell, Human Resources Administration Director of Business Development Anthony Sanchez and union leader Helen Foreman-Hines.

Pabón said he was slightly disappointed but not surprised that the Democrats chose Salamanca over him, and he was confident that he could still win the election.

"We were not basing our campaign on whether county was going to endorse us or not," he said.

Russell said he was not particularly concerned about the endorsement and believed he could still win the race as well.

"I’m not disappointed. I’m not insulted, none of that," he said. "They’re going to do what they have to do, and I’m going to do what I have to do: I’m going to run for the office."