Audio: Progressive Hopefuls Challenge a Very Big Name in Bronx Council Race

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The four people not named Diaz who are running for the 18th district seat. Clockwise from top right they are William Moore, Elvin Garcia, Michael Beltzer and Amanda Farias.

The race for the 18th district Council seat would be compelling enough if there were only four people on the September 12 Democratic primary ballot.

Michael Beltzer, a community-board member and neighborhood advocate, talks candidly about overcoming painkiller addiction.

Amanda Farias, a Council aide, is the lone woman running for one of the few Council seats held by a woman, Annabel Palma, who is term-limited out.

Elvin Garcia, Mayor de Blasio’s chief liaison to the Bronx, would be the third openly gay Councilmember from the Bronx.

William Moore is a former political aide who shifted to the private sector.

Personal stories aside, the candidates bring different progressive policy ideas to the table in the district, which covers Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester, Clason Point and Harding Park.

But none of them were the candidate from the 18th featured on a recent cover of City & State, or the subject of the headline in City Limits’ earlier profile of this race. Those slots went to Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr., a state senator, former holder of this same Council seat and father of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. Having eclipsed the Espadas and the Riveras, the Diaz men now possess the biggest name in Bronx politics, and that’s what frames the contest: In a low turnout affair with a crowded field, can a rookie candidate overcome the Diaz name recognition?

City Limits, Gotham Gazette and WNYC are teaming up to cover key Council races. Below is our brief talk, which aired Wednesday, about district 18.

Learn more about the candidates here or via our WNYC/Gotham Gazette/City Limits voters’ guide, below:


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