Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ruben Diaz Jr. Declares Himself Pro-Charter, Looks To Use Issue For Mayoral Run

The pro-charter mayoral possibilities just keep coming.

So far we have Hakeem Jeffries and Eva Moskowitz on the list of potential mayoral candidates.

With this move, we can add Ruben Diaz Jr:

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who has stayed out of the war over charter schools, has agreed to speak at a massive pro-charter event where he will defend the schools and declare, “Charters are here to stay.”

Although he heads a borough with 59 charter schools, Diaz has not been outspoken in the battles that have pitted charter-school operators against Mayor de Blasio and the teachers union.

That will change Wednesday when the six-year leader of The Bronx will speak at City Hall, where thousands of charter-school supporters are expected to converge following a rally at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn and a march over the Brooklyn Bridge

“I support charter schools. I always have,” Diaz told The Post in an interview. “Charters schools are part of the public-school system. We need to offer all the support we can give them.”

The politics behind this are obvious:

Diaz dismissed talk that his role in the pro-charter rally is tied to a possible mayoral run in 2017.

“The education of children in The Bronx and the city of New York is way more important than anyone’s politics,” he said.

Political consultant George Arzt said Diaz’s decision to take such a high-profile role backing charters could distinguish him from rival Democrats down the road.

“People will view him from a different perspective,” Arzt said. “It definitely shows Ruben as a person who disagrees with the incumbent mayor. It show him as independent.”

While the borough president has stayed out of the limelight on the charter issue until now, his father, Bronx state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., has been a vocal and longtime charter-school booster.

Sure his role at the pro-charter rally has nothing to do with a potential run for mayor in 2017.


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