Salamanca, other incumbents, take primaries

Incumbents swept four local primaries on Tuesday.

By Rahima Nasa & Alana Pipe.
By Rahima Nasa & Alana Pipe. Eva Beltran cast a vote for Rafael Salamanca for City Council in one of four Sept. 13 Democratic primaries in Mott Haven/Port Morris/Melrose.

Incumbents held serve across the South Bronx in four Democratic primaries on Sept. 13.

In the 17th City Council district, Rafael Salamanca beat Helen Foreman-Hines to retain his seat, serving Hunts Point, Longwood and Melrose. Salamanca finished the evening with 2,450 votes, or 62.3 percent, to Foreman-Hines’ 1,485— 37.6 percent.

Salamanca was elected last February in a special election to replace Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who resigned last November.

In the 84th Assembly district, longtime incumbent Carmen Arroyo tallied 1,862 votes—64.1 percent of the votes cast—to newcomer Jackson Strong’s 894, or 30.8 percent.

In the 85th Assembly district, which takes in slivers of Hunts Point and Port Morris, incumbent Marcos Crespo, who also serves as chairman of the Bronx County Democratic Committee, pulled in 2,532 votes to challenger William R. Moore’s 906, for a margin of 66.8 to 23.9 percent.

In the 32nd district of the State Senate, Ruben Diaz Sr. comfortably held on to the seat he’s long held, walloping accountant Eliot Quinones with 7,618 votes or 89 percent of the tally to Quinones’ 915, or 10.3 percent.

All four will run in the general elections in November, though there are no Republican candidates in the race with any chance of defeating them.

Voter turnout was light throughout the area.

By Kimberly Chin and Tom Walsh.
By Kimberly Chin and Tom Walsh. Linda Castano, left, and Lydia Ortega, right, voted at Mill Brook Houses.

One Melrose voter said she voted for Salamanca because she thinks he will work hard for seniors.

“Rafael has been helping a lot of people in the Bronx,” said Elva Beltran, 52, who works as a security guard at a Melrose homeless shelter. “I spoke to him about creating more programs for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren like me. For instance, I don’t qualify for certain welfare services or affordable housing options because of my work status. But I can’t raise two grandchildren all on my own without some support. We need to help grandparents.”

At Mill Brook Houses, Lydia Ortega, a 59-year-old retiree, cast her vote for the 29-year-old upstart Jackson Strong, hoping for an upset in the local Assembly race.

“We want to give him a chance,” she said. “I voted for Arroyo two years ago. She had good intentions when she started, but when they get up there, they forget about the people. After so many years, you need to give someone else a chance.”

Contributing Reporters were: Miamichelle Abad, Stefan Anderson, Clara Charles, Kimberly Chin, Christina Dabney, Malik Edwards, Lori Freshwater, Imad Khan, Kendra Manns, Manolo Morales, Rahima Nasa, Alana Pipe, Sean Shoemaker, Pauliina Siniauer and Tom Walsh.