Father-son politicians in the Bronx share party, but are widely split on primary

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THE BRONX, N.Y. — Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. just might get the last laugh when the New York primary is over. However, he has some work to do before April 19.

"I'm working on the Republicans to bring them to the Bronx," he said.

Republicans in the Bronx? This is a heavily Democratic borough.

That said, leave it to the left-leaning senator to break rank from the party and welcome Ted Cruz to the Bronx on Wednesday, with his sight not set for that fellow from Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

"Mr. Trump, you're the only one missing in the Bronx. The invitation is open. Don't be left out," Diaz Sr. said.

Can you imagine? Trump standing next to a Latino Democrat in a cowboy hat in the Bronx? It is a sight that cannot be scripted. Yet Diaz Sr. is trying to make it happen.

"I believe, what I believe. I do what I do," he said.

That is the way he has always gone about his business. His son Ruben Diaz Jr. -- the Bronx Borough President -- can attest to it.

"My father says that he invites everyone," Diaz Jr. said. "He invites Democrats and he invites Republicans. It is no secret that he supports Republicans in the past because of his conservative beliefs. He is a minister."

Diaz Jr. admits the two have had their moments

"People know that we have our differences, but I love my father. I respect my dad," he said.

There is no doubt. Love is a word PIX11 News heard often between the two of them on Thursday. Diaz Sr. even took the time to a read a text he sent his son when Diaz Jr. was with Hillary Clinton in the morning.

"Good interview, very, very proud of you. God bless you my son," the message read.

However, it should be kept in mind that strategy is behind nearly every politician's move. For Diaz Sr., hanging with Republicans translates to greater exposure for the Bronx.

"My son is working the Democrats. I'm working the Republicans. We are bringing everyone to the Bronx and the Bronx is going worldwide," Diaz Sr. said.

Fair enough. But all this will probably cost Diaz Sr. on the night of the primary.

When asked where he will be on the 19th? Diaz Jr. quickly responded: "I will be celebrating in the nighttime, Hillary Clinton's win in the state of New York."

When asked where his father will be that same night? Diaz Jr. added, "I don't know. I don't think he will be celebrating though."