Espaillat Makes History as First Dominican in Congress

Adriano Espaillat went to his voting site in Inwood to cast his ballot. (Photo by Marta Ramírez via El Diario)

Adriano Espaillat went to his voting site in Inwood to cast his ballot. (Photo by Marta Ramírez via El Diario)

[Adriano Espaillat was elected yesterday as the first Dominican to occupy a seat in the House of Representatives, succeeding Charles Rangel as representative of the 13th District and joining a list of some 30 Hispanic members of Congress. The story below was published before the final results were known.]

Candidate to Congress Adriano Espaillat arrived punctually at his appointment at the polls. At 11:00 a.m., the man who will most likely take the baton from Charles Rangel and occupy the seat the latter will leave vacant in U.S. Congress, went to his polling site, located on 219th Street in Inwood.

Like any other resident of the area, Espaillat approached the voting tables and deposited his ballot, surrounded by a dozen Upper Manhattan residents. Except for the temporary complaints of one New Yorker who was unwilling to wait to exercise his right after the commotion caused by the Democrat’s arrival, the vote carried on normally and, afterward, the candidate dedicated a few words to those present to promote voting for Hillary Clinton.

“The sleeping giant of the Latino vote has awakened today to tell the nation what our needs are, so I feel very proud to be a part of that effort, which will elect the first woman president,” declared the candidate representing New York’s 13th District.

Espaillat, born in the Dominican Republic, also spoke about immigration reform, which he said is one of the first policies he will tackle when he arrives in Washington.

“Immigration reform must be taken very seriously and, if not, the candidates who oppose it will pay for that in the future. In this election, the Hispanic vote has erected a large barrier to prevent a racist such as Donald Trump from reaching the White House,” he said.

“Our vote has been robust, and for that reason they will have to take into account our proposals and needs,” finalized the senator.

Adriano Espaillat was elected to the Senate on November 2010, where he represented the 13th District, extending from the Upper West Side to Washington Heights, Marble Hill and Hamilton Heights in Manhattan.

In 1996, the senator became the first Dominican American to be elected for a state legislature. With the outcome of this election, he will become the first Dominican to reach the U.S. Congress.

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