There are a number of competitive City Council races in next month's primary. That includes some incumbents in tough fights for re-election, like Brooklyn Councilman Carlos Menchaca. NY1's Bobby Cuza looks at the Democratic primary race in City Council District 38.
Four years ago, Carlos Menchaca was a young upstart who pulled off a rare feat, unseating incumbent Council member Sara Gonzalez. This time around, he's the one with a target on his back, with his rivals claiming he does little for constituents.
"They don't even know where he is," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez is trying to turn the tables on Menchaca and win back her old seat. Though she, too, was knocked for being absent from the job, she's running on her old record.
"I believe that in the history of the seat," Gonzalez said. "I have been the one to bring the most dollars into this district."
The race for Council District 38, which includes Sunset Park and Red Hook, features another familar face: Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, who's spent 22 years in the Assembly, rising to assistant speaker and, among other things, spearheading the ban on the use of cell phones while driving. He says Menchaca hasn't been getting things done.
"He's the kind of guy who likes to speak loud, but the results are minimum," Ortiz said.
"In the last three years, we've done so much," Menchaca said.
Though he's had little of own legislation passed, Menchaca has been active on immigration issues, and points to new school construction.
"About a quarter of the schools that are getting built in the city of New York are coming to Sunset Park. That's an accomplishment," Menchaca said.
He also has across-the-board support from elected officials, unions and other groups, and says Ortiz is motivated by the higher Council salary; Ortiz says it's about service.
Rounding out the field are two first-time candidates, one of whom is nearly leading the pack when it comes to fundraising.
Delvis Valdes, an attorney and community activist, trails only Menchaca in money raised. And he says Menchaca, who was among those arrested at a January protest outside Trump Tower, has been preoccupied with opposing the president.
"He's more concerned about national issues, and we need someone who's going to represent the people here locally," Valdes said.
Finally, there's Chinese-born attorney Chris Miao, who founded his own law firm and is appealing to the district's large Asian-American population.