Dominican Women Rise to Power in State Primaries

Dominican politicians Marisol Alcántara and Carmen De La Rosa (with her 2-year-old daughter Lea) campaigning in July 2016. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

Dominican politicians Marisol Alcántara and Carmen De La Rosa (with her 2-year-old daughter Lea) campaigning in July 2016. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

A video by Roberto Capocelli for NYCity News Service on Marisol Alcantara’s win in the Sept. 13 primary follows the story below from El Diario.

Carmen De La Rosa, a young 30-year-old who had never run in an election, made history on Tuesday night when she won the Assembly seat that incumbent Guillermo Linares occupied until now. Linares is considered one of the most prominent and respectable Hispanic politicians in the Big Apple. [Editor’s note: As there are no Republicans running in the 72nd Assembly District, De La Rosa will run uncontested in the general election.]

The Dominican mother, who arrived in New York when she was a baby, obtained 53.3 percent of the vote, to become a new member of the legislature in Albany, according to figures from the Board of Elections after counting more than 85 percent of the ballots.

De La Rosa, who said that she will advocate for affordable housing, education and equality for women, obtained 4,383, while Linares got 3,075. [UPDATE: According to the latest results, De La Rosa got 46.2 percent of the vote, with 4,414 votes compared to Linares’ 3,099 votes.]

Similarly, with 94 percent of the votes counted, fellow Dominican Marisol Alcántara looks like the virtual winner against Robert Jackson by a nearly 6 percent difference. If this happens, she will capture the State Senate seat left vacant by Adriano Espaillat, who not only is one step away from becoming a U.S. congressman but also launched and supported the candidacies of both his compatriots. [Editor’s note: With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Alcántara leads with 33.3 percent of the vote, followed by Micah Lasher at 31.1 percent and Jackson at 30.6.]

The popular 809 Bar and Grill in Upper Manhattan became the meeting point for Alcántara and De La Rosa’s supporters, who took over the place early in the day with cheers and joyful faces.

“Here are the ones who won! Here are the ones who won!” chanted several women who could not hide their excitement about the emerging presence of Dominican women in Albany.

Hercilia García and Raquel Batista did not hide their excitement for what they deemed a triumph for Dominican women in the election. (Photo by Edwin Martinez via El Diario)

Hercilia García and Raquel Batista did not hide their excitement for what they deemed a triumph for Dominican women in the election. (Photo by Edwin Martinez via El Diario)

“We are proud, it is a triumph. Not just because they are women but because they have demonstrated that the immigrant community continues to grow and empower itself, to a level where we are demonstrating that we count in this country’s democracy,” said Lucía Gómez, director of LiUNA Local 78’s Organizing and Strategic Partnerships.

Hercilia García, who would not stop chanting to the rhythm of merengue, also said that the results are a reward to unity and hard work.

“I feel happy. We fought for this. It took a joint effort of the community to reach this goal and, today, the name of Dominican women stands higher than ever.”

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