Republican Joe Lhota, who has lots of ground to make up in the mayor's race, was out Sunday trying to drum up support among Latinos while Bill de Blasio was touting his support in the Asian community. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Joe Lhota seems unlikely to win the Latino vote but it won’t be for lack of enthusiasm. At times it seemed the Republican, trailing by 44 points in the most recent poll, was trying to shake the hand of every last spectator at Sunday’s Hispanic Day Parade in Midtown even if his Spanish needs polishing.
Relating to the crowd comes easy for one of Lhota’s rivals, Independence Party candidate Adolfo Carrion. The former Bronx Borough President is of Puerto Rican descent, and hopes to boost turnout among the city’s 900,000 registered Hispanics.
"Basically, the community’s staying home—in effect, boycotting the political process because they don’t really believe that there is, you know, the kind of force that represents or the kind of voice that represents their interests," Carrion said.
Democrat Bill de Blasio, the frontrunner in the race, wasn't at the Hispanic Day Parade but he was at the Bronx Columbus Day Parade then spent the afternoon meeting with community leaders in Flushing, where he also picked up the endorsements of local elected officials.
That included City Councilman Peter Koo, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Congresswoman Grace Meng and Assemblyman Ron Kim.
"Historically in this city, City Hall’s been more interested in what happens in Manhattan than what happens in the outer boroughs. That’s something that simply must change. I know my friends in Queens feel that," De Blasio said.
"We truly believe that he’s the only person right now who can fight for our interests, especially here in Flushing, the home of a immigrant community that’s the most diverse county in the entire world," Kim said.
Lhota hopes he can start making a dent in de Blasio’s lead at their first debate Tuesday.
"It’ll be the first time people will see where I want to take the city, and where Bill wants to take the city, and there’s a very stark difference," Lhota said.