About a decade ago, the Bronx was a bit more Republican than it is today, but the Republican Party is disappearing in the borough, as there are currently only Democratic candidates representing it. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report as part of her Bronx Week series.
The neighborhoods along the East Bronx, like Westchester Square, were once called home by a large share of the borough's Republicans.
"There used to be a small pocket of Irish and Italian and other white ethnic groups that are more likely to vote Republican," said Jerry Skurnick, a partner with Prime New York. "But those voters are, as they're getting older, either move or die or retire, and they're being replaced by usually minorities, blacks and Hispanics, who are more likely to vote Democratic."
Now, registered Republicans make up just six percent of the borough, according to Skurnick, whose company evaluates voter information.
While never the majority, the Bronx Republican Party has now shrunk to an all time low, leaving their members without a voice.
"I don't really bother voting in the primary because it doesn't make sense for me," said John Bonizio, chair of the Westchester Square Business Improvement District. "I've actually thought about re-registering as a Democrat just so I can be relevant in this borough because you can't be relevant in this borough. There hasn't been any type of Republican leadership for a long time."
The Bronx County Republican Committee knows that. In April, it elected former Air Force veteran John Greaney as its chairman with the hopes of turning the party around after former leader Jay Savino was arrested for allegedly taking bribes to allow Democratic state Senator Malcolm Smith to run in the Republican primary for mayor.
In a statement on the party's state web site, Greaney says, "I look forward to working with both my Bronx committee and the State Party to promote the principles that our city and state need to grow our economy and create jobs. Our team of dedicated Republicans will bring success and prosperity back to our great community."
Little has changed since then, though. Democrats still represented the majority of candidates in the primaries last week.
"I think a lot of residents of the Bronx feel confident that the Democratic Party represents the values that they stand for," said Patrick Jenkins, a consultant with the Bronx Democratic County Committee.
Skurnick believes that sentiment is indicative of city trends and may not change for a while.