Former Bronx borough president and veteran Democrat Adolfo Carrion will run for mayor of New York as an independent candidate, vying to become the first Latino to lead the city.
Carrion said he is aware of the political risk he is taking, but also expressed confidence in the experience he acquired as city councilman, borough president and director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs.
"I'm going to fight, I'm a fighter and that's why I'm taking this risk. It's a political risk, but there is no progress without risks. Every advance in the history of the human race has been achieved when someone said 'enough already,'" Carrion told EFE news agency.
The 52-year-old presents his candidacy as an alternative to the "paralysis" he blames on Democrats and Republicans and as an opportunity for the Latino community to take up the city's reins for the first time ever.
Hispanics make up 29 percent of the Big Apple's 8.2 million residents.
"Unfortunately we have paralysis in the national government and in the city of New York," he said.
"We need power at the executive level, an independent power. My experience offers a lot in that way, and for Hispanics this is a time to unite as a community to lead the city, and in the future, the nation," he said, promising to campaign door-to-door in the Latino community.
He said he will do everything to awaken "the sleeping giant," as he calls the roughly two-thirds of New York City registered voters who didn't vote in the 2009 mayoral elections.
In referring to the Latino community, he regretted that the Democratic Party has always felt sure of its vote, even though it brought no significant improvements to the community.
"What people are asking for, not just Latinos but all groups of all races and religions, are results and independent leadership," Carrion said.
The two most promising past Latino contenders for New York City mayor were former Congressman Herman Badillo, who ran for Mayor in several attempts during the 1960s and 70s, and former Bronx Borough president Fernando Ferrer.
Herman Badillo ran for mayor six times, never securing a party nomination. Councilman, borough president and three-time mayoral hopeful Fernando "Freddy" Ferrer was the first Latino to win the nomination of a major party, finishing second to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2005.