Rodriguez runs for third term

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Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez is running for a third term. Credit: Campaign website

By Louis Baudoin-Laarman

Robert Jay Rodriguez, 40, has no Democratic challengers for his District 68 Assembly seat.

So the two-term assemblyman will face Republican candidate Daby Carreras in November.

A native of East Harlem, Rodriguez was immersed in city politics before he even started his political career, as he is the son of former New York Councilman Robert Rodriguez.

Since winning the District 68 seat, Rodriguez has often worked with State Senator José M. Serrano, who also represents East Harlem. Together, the two representatives frequently visit public facilities in their neighborhood to meet their constituents. 

This year, Rodriguez is also running on the Women’s Equality Party ticket.

Rodriguez received $268,616 in contributions for 2015 and 2016, according to the state Board of Elections.

Campaign platform

  • Creating the New York State Senior Center Council. The council is a legislative body that will discuss challenges facing senior centers across the state. The bill has been approved by the Assembly but still needs to be signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
  • Advocating for the Move New York Fair Plan, which aims to reform New York’s saturated transportation network through the establishment of tolls on seven of the city’s bridges on the East River and the extension of the public transportation network.

“For far too long there are communities in New York City that are cut off from mass transit,” said Rodriguez at a press conference.

  • Changing the current approach to arrests for marijuana possession. Rodriguez co-sponsored a bill to seal certain convictions for possession, which result in “closing doors … educational and work opportunities for tens of thousands of disproportionately affected black and brown people in low-income communities, who are suffering for an over policing in our communities,” he said on the Assembly floor in June.
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Republican Girodes runs a third time for state senate

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Jon Girodes attends an event for the Women’s National Republicans Club. Credit: Campaign website

By Tom Piccolo

Jon Girodes is hoping the third time is the charm for his bid to represent heavily Democratic Harlem in the statehouse. 

Girodes, 39, is running as a Republican for State Senate in Manhattan’s 30th District, where he will square off against incumbent Bill Perkins in November for the second time in two years. 

In 2014, Girodes came up short, garnering 4.6 percent of the vote to Perkins’ 87 percent. In 2010, prior to 2012 redistricting, he ran for State Senator of District 28 against incumbent Jose Serrano. He won 7 percent of the vote, compared to Serrano’s 91 percent.

Girodes and his two brothers were raised by their single mother in East Harlem. He graduated from Northeastern University in 2000 with a finance/economics degree. Since 2007, he has worked as the founder and CEO of Girodes Incorporated, a tax accounting firm that also provides credit and debt counseling services.

Girodes has raised $0 for his campaign, according to the state Board of Elections. He also has a GoFundMe page that has no contributions.

“They call me Trump Junior,” says Girodes, referring to his candid, “meat-and-potatoes” personality.

Campaign Platform

  • Will cut down on long-term government assistance programs to promote financial independence
  • Will work to improve air quality and water potability
  • Strongly supports charter schools
  • Pledges to “provide fair and even distribution of affordable housing to those in need”
  • Will improve roads by filling potholes