District 72

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(Above: Assembly District 72 Polling Stations)

Assemblyman Linares in District 72 facing a challenge within his own party

Longtime Assemblyman Guillermo Linares is facing an unusual challenge this year in the primary elections — contesters from within his own party. Linares and two other Democrats are battling it out in the primaries Tuesday for the seat in the Assembly District 72. The district covers the Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill neighborhoods.

Linares is running against opponents Carmen De La Rosa and George Fernandez. Usually the party seats are fought over after an incumbent resigns; this year, however, Linares’ competitors are calling for a shake-up.

De La Rosa is backed by fellow Dominican Adriano Espaillat, the influential Democratic nominee to replace former US Congressman Charles Rangel. Espaillat has been a longtime rival of Linares, who lost the primary race for Rangel’s Congressional seat to Espaillat earlier this year.

The three candidates are all focusing on creating affordable housing, coming in on the heels of the Sherman Plaza catastrophe of earlier this year.

The Sherman Plaza rezoning was an effort issued by Mayor de Blasio that set out to build a complex with affordable housing in Inwood. It was unanimously voted down by City Council in August. De La Rosa, Linares and Rodriguez all opposed the plan, leaving residents of District 72 eager to find out what new solutions the candidates will bring.

Linares, the current Assemblyman for District 72, advocates for more affordable housing, improved elderly care and educational advancement in public schools, with a focus on the Hispanic/Latino population. Linares is running on his long history working as a public official, which began with his winning a City Council seat in 1992.

De La Rosa, a lifelong Inwood resident, was previously chief of staff to Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez. She is campaigning for improved housing and education, as well as the protection and advancement of women’s rights. De La Rosa is pushing for more of a female presence in uptown politics by running in this election cycle.

Fernandez is pushing for more affordable housing, funding for public schools and small business security. Fernandez was recently chairman of Community Board 12 and is a council leader for Division 376 for the Public Employees Federation. He is also a longtime housing activist.

Democrat

Guillermo Linares (I)

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Meet Guillermo Linares. Credit: Campaign Website

George Fernandez

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Meet George Fernandez. Credit: Campaign Website

Carmen N. De La Rosa

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Meet Carmen De La Rosa. Allana Haynes/The North Polls

No Republican