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Ruben Diaz Sr. Rides to Victory in District 18 Council Primary

By Kate Pastor | September 13, 2017 11:03am
 State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. has announced that he will run for the New York City Council.
State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. has announced that he will run for the New York City Council.
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DNAinfo/Chelsia Rose Marcius

THE BRONX — Ruben Diaz Sr., the state Senator known for his cowboy hat and socially conservative views, won the Democratic primary for the open City Council seat being vacated by term-limited Anabel Palma.

In a race that pit the Bronx Democratic Party favorite against fresh faces, Diaz won 41.92 percent of the vote. Amanda Farias, who has worked for Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, came in second place with 20.77 percent of the vote. 

Other candidates for Council District 18 secured percentages in the teens or lower. Elvin Garcia — who worked for Mayor Bill de Blasio and as an LGBT Liaison — secured 14.86 percent of the vote, while Michael Beltzer won 13.56 percent and William Russell Moore won 8.80 percent.

Diaz Sr. — who has served in the state Senate since 2002 covering Castle Hill, Longwood, Melrose, Morrisania, Parkchester, West Farms and Concourse Village — is well-known in The Bronx and was widely expected win.

His son, Ruben Diaz Jr., serves as Bronx Borough President.

Diaz Sr. has been a firebrand in the Senate for his conservative views, and some candidates during this election cycle have paid a political price for supporting him.

He cast the sole Democratic vote against the state's gay marriage law in 2011 and last year invited Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz to The Bronx, yet still enjoys support from the Bronx Democratic County Committee.

Assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda, a Democrat covering Assembly District 87, was his campaign manager.

Diaz faces Conservative Party candidate Eduardo Ramirez and Green Party nominee Carl Lundgren in the Nov. 7 general election.