Metro

Hispanic pols tie Eric Gonzalez AG bid to Hochul, James gov endorsements

Hispanic power brokers in New York say they won’t back a candidate for governor who doesn’t endorse Eric Gonzalez, the Brooklyn district attorney, in his expected bid for state attorney general, sources told The Post.

Latino pols informally discussed their strategy at the SOMOS conference last week in Puerto Rico.

“Many of the Latino elected officials are conditioning their support for governor on whether the candidates endorse Eric Gonzalez for attorney general,” one Hispanic lawmaker told The Post upon his return from San Juan.

The legislator, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions, said at least 10 Latino politicians have bought into only backing a candidate for governor who endorses Gonzalez.

“Gonzalez’s bid to become the first statewide Latino elected official is important to us,” the source said.

There’s a good chance that current AG Letitia James, who recently announced her bid for governor, will back Gonzalez. Both hail from Brooklyn.

AG Letitia James is likely to endorse Gonzalez when he announces his bid to replace her.
AG Letitia James is likely to endorse Gonzalez when he announces his bid to replace her.
Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images

Gonzalez also uses the same campaign consulting firms as James, who is challenging incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Democratic primary next year.

Among them is the Hamilton Campaign Network, the firm co-founded by Luis Miranda, the dad of Broadway actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame.

But Hochul has been aggressively seeking support from the Latino community and hiring Hispanics to key administrative positions and may also jump on the Gonzalez bandwagon.

The enthusiasm for Gonzalez spilled over at the SOMOS conference in Puerto Rico last week, where term-limited Bronx Borough Ruben Diaz Jr. endorsed him — before the Brooklyn DA has even announced his candidacy.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said that he is with Gonzalez "one-million percent."
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said that he is with Gonzalez “one-million percent.”
Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

“If he runs, I’m with him one-million percent and I’m going to do everything I can to encourage other people. There’s no secret the Latino community in the state and city continues to grow and we don’t see representation at the city and state level that represents our community,” Diaz Jr. told The Post.

Diaz Jr. confirmed that he and other Latino leaders want their candidates for governor pledging support for Gonzalez.

“If I was consulting any of the gubernatorial candidates, I would be telling my candidate to hurry up and try to make that connection if that’s at all possible,” Diaz said.

Gonzalez at the  2021 Somos Puerto Rico Conference in San Juan on November 6, 2021.
Gonzalez at the 2021 Somos Puerto Rico Conference in San Juan on November 6, 2021.
Alvin Baez for NY Post

Look at the percentage of Latinos [in New York]. Latinos helped support Eric Adams [for mayor]. If I’m a gubernatorial candidate I would be trying to elbow everybody out of the way right now. Whoever doesn’t do that I think they run the risk of alienating the Latino community.”

Diaz said he personally spoke to the teams for Hochul, James and Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi, also weighing a run for governor, about the importance of backing Gonzalez for AG.


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