One of the last cogs in the Bronx Democratic political machine has finally fallen.
The misogynistic, homophobic former New York State Senator turned NYC Councilman Ruben Diaz will not run for re-election next year.
This comes after an embarrassing defeat on the June 23rd democratic primaries for congress, despite being considered the front runner in a crowded race, where over 80% of the voters said no to Diaz by voting for other candidates.
Even when he ran for City Council and won he wasn’t wanted by the electorate as the majority of voters in the district overwhelmingly voted for anyone but Diaz.
He has finally come to terms that he is persona non grata in The Bronx.
The Bronx machine has been imploding slowly since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated longtime powerful incumbent Joseph Crowley two years ago as well as Alessandra Biaggi toppling incumbent Jeff Klein.
Then this year came the exodus with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr mysteriously dropping from the New York City mayoral race, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo announcing he would step aside as the Bronx Democratic party boss and also not run for re-election.
Shortly thereafter, Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo finally got caught cheating after years of allegations of voter fraud not sticking. A judge threw her off the ballot.
Then on primary day last month on June 23rd, Jamaal Bowman toppled longtime congressman Eliot Engel not to mention Councilman Ritchie Torres winning the primary election to replace outgoing congressman José Serrano in the 15th district.
In his weekly and infamous What You Should Know newsletter, Diaz wrote, “I remained steadfast and brought many projects and programs. I did so, with my head held high, defending those in need regardless of race, sexual orientation, political orientation, nationality or religion, regardless if they resided in my district or not, my office welcomed and served all.
“After serious analysis, of which I spent in prayer with God, family, ministers and after a political analysis, I have made the decision to follow the example of my two sons. My biological son Ruben Diaz Jr., and my political son Marcos Crespo.”
This is a beautiful day in Bronx politics as the machine we have so long sought to topple is finally in its death throes.
We have a series of progressive leaders now with no central power behind them pulling strings like the Bronx machine had done for years.
No more will a handful of people call the shots for The Bronx but perhaps now true power will reside with the people.
But in order to keep that power, we must continue to be involved politically and civically. It’s not just at the ballots that se must apply pressure but all year round to ensure we get what we need to progress to a better future for all.