THE BRONX (PIX11) — In what could be the most closely watched Bronx race in this election cycle, Democrat Marjorie Velázquez is trying to hold on to her seat on the New York City Council by beating her Republican opponent Kristy Marmorato.
The candidates have been knocking on thousands of doors and traveling across the district in the lead-up and were at it again on Election Day morning. The competition has been fierce, and in a recent televised debate, they did not hold back.
Marmorato works in healthcare and is a political newcomer running to dethrone Velazquez, claiming the Democrat deceived constituents by supporting the controversial Bruckner upzoning project. It allows the construction of 8-story buildings in what has traditionally been a neighborhood of privately owned homes.
“She lied to the community about the Bruckner upzoning. She’s not supporting the community on the just home initiative and she’s looking to put a casino right smack in the middle of the community that’s going to be bigger than Yankee Stadium,” said Marmorato.
The Bruckner issue sparked protests in the district and is a key factor driving voters to the polls.
“I do feel that with the new buildings, the infrastructure is going to be hard,” said one voter.
The Democratic party has a tight grip on political office in the Bronx, where voters seldom buck the party. But neighborhoods in the district like Throggsneck, Country Club and Morris Park tend to be more conservative.
Velazquez said her record has been mischaracterized, and her record on public safety and investment in sanitation will help her keep her city council spot.
“That’s all that she’s got to run on is lies,” Velazquez said. “I’ve got results and that’s the difference.”
The fierce opponents have not just stuck to these issues, going after each other over claims of nepotism and conflicts of interest and each using their family ties to city government to win.
“People are going to want to try to give misinformation because those are the republican talking points,” said Velazquez.