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South Bronx Special Election Candidates to Square Off at Upcoming Forum

By Eddie Small | January 15, 2016 11:03am | Updated on January 17, 2016 7:41pm
 The group Nos Quedamos is planning a candidates forum for the people vying to replace Maria del Carmen Arroyo on the City Council.
17th City Council District Candidates Forum
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SOUTH BRONX — A local nonprofit is planning to host a forum for the huge field of candidates vying to fill Maria del Carmen Arroyo's recently vacated City Council seat.

Nos Quedamos, a group that aims to develop a sustainable, healthy and economically strong community in the South Bronx, anticipates holding the forum on Jan. 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Pregones Theater, a famed venue in the borough located at 571 Walton Ave.

"We want to ensure the community is aware of this special election, and ultimately able to fully participate in the election of their candidate," Nos Quedamos President and CEO Jessica Clemente said in an email. "For a change, we want to be able to demonstrate that our local residents care by voting in significant numbers."

Arroyo made a surprise announcement in November that she would resign from her Council seat at the end of the year, and the special election to replace her has been set for Feb. 23.

So far, candidates who have expressed interest in running for her seat include:

Rafael Salamanca, Community Board 2 district manager and president of the 41st Precinct Community Council

Julio Pabón, a South Bronx activist and businessman who ran against Arroyo in the 2013 election

Marlon Molina, a Community Board 3 member and a founder of the Bronx Volunteer Coalition

George Alvarez, a South Bronx businessman and former state Assembly candidate

Joann Otero, Arroyo's chief of staff

Amanda Septimo, a staffer for Rep. Jose Serrano

Rev. J. Loren Russell, a Bronx preacher and businessman

Anthony Sanchez, director of business development at the Human Resources Administration

Helen Foreman-Hines, political project director at the union 1199 SEIU