Díaz and Morales are 'running mates'
This week Latino endorsements fell where expected in the primary race. Mayoral candidate Nelson Díaz officially announced his endorsement for 7th District candidate Manny Morales at a “Get Out The Vote Rally” on Wednesday.
"This endorsement is entirely about Manny. He's the right choice for the 7th District because he has the energy and the ideas we need to move Philadelphia forward," Díaz said to AL DÍA.
Several ward leaders were present, as well as State Representatives Angel Cruz and Leslie Acosta, members of LUPE — Latinos United for Political Empowerment — an organization developed in 2014 to build unity and political alliances within the Latino community in Philadelphia. LUPE is conducting another voter registration drive on Saturday, March 14 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the barbershop La Familia 2, on N. Front Street.
Diaz stressed the importance of unity and the ability to work together to get things done in the community. The elephant in the room of Latino unity of course is the well known antagonism between Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez and the Democratic City Committee.
Earlier in the race one of the big questions was which mayoral candidate was Quiñones-Sánchez backing. In an interview with AL DÍA, the councilwoman said that the ability to show the rest of the city that candidates have the capacity and the willingness to serve everyone is important.
“The city needs to understand that Latinos are always going to run. Having qualified Latinos to run should become the norm. But there have to be people who understand the coalition politics it takes,” said Quiñones. “African Americans helped elect Angel Ortiz, the first (Latino) city councilman, and helped elect Juan Ramos. African Americans helped me get elected. I have a large African American constituency in my district. If we can put together campaigns that speak to capacity and our ability to serve all, I think it is hugely important.”
Quiñones-Sánchez took the stage with mayoral candidate Anthony Williams' at his official announcement as a mayoral candidate in November. She confirmed in February, in an Inquirer article, that she is backing Williams.
Morales also described himself as a coalition builder. "You have to listen to all the voices, not just some of them, and work with those elected by the community. I pledge to do that as your councilman,” Morales said.
According to the unofficial list of Candidates for City Elective Office, Quiñones-Sánchez gathered 4,764 signatures while Morales delivered 3,500.
Now that the petition-signing is done, Morales said he ready to "get out there and start campaigning. We're going to try to hit every door and every voter in the district. Especially those who feel unheard, or left out."