Jose Serrano to Retire

Serrano (l) with Diaz (r) during a protest of the Mott Haven jail. (Photo by Alex Mitchell/Schneps Media via Bronx Times)

Longtime congressman Jose E. Serrano announced March 25 he will not run for re-election as he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, reports Alex Mitchell for Bronx Times. The native of Puerto Rico served as an Assemblyman before becoming a congressman. Having held the seat since 1990, he is the longest-serving Latino member of the House.

In a statement, he described how he will finish out his term.

“I will use my role as chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee to fight for climate change research, a fairer justice system, and an accurate 2020 Census count,” Serrano said.

For almost a year now, Serrano has joined forces with Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. in advocating against the mayor’s plan to construct a jail at 320 Concord Avenue in Mott Haven.

The congressman highlighted some of his achievements while in office.

Serrano reflected on some of those indelible marks he’s credited with as well, stating “I am extremely proud of the work we did to revitalize the Bronx River, to bring billions of federal dollars to our borough, to expand access to the ballot for language minorities, to increase STEM resources for minority students,” the two-year Army Medical Corps veteran said, mentioning other foreign policy victories he and others had achieved on Capitol Hill.

Mitchell notes that a week prior to Serrano’s announcement, Bronx Council member Ritchie Torres had filed paperwork to challenge the incumbent in next year’s primary.

How did Torres respond to the news? Go to Bronx Times to see his comments as well as those of Diaz and Rep. Adriano Espaillat and find out if Serrano’s son, state Sen. Jose M. Serrano, is interested in running for his father’s seat.

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