By Andrea Karshan
Incumbent 18th District State Sen.Martin Malavé Dilan(Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Cypress Hills) said today he considered his opponent Debbie Medina‘s problems related to her son to be personal and doesn’t want to make an issue of it in the upcoming Sept. 13 Democratic Primary.
That after DNAinfo reported that Medina had repeatedly hit her son with a belt during his childhood. This information was used to help her son, Eugenio Torres, avoid the death penalty for the beating death of 3-year-old Elijah Strickland.
Dilan, a seven-term incumbent, said he was aware of this information when Medina ran against him in 2014, and as he went door-to- door campaigning, people in the neighborhood often mentioned Medina’s history to him. But he considers this a personal issue and didn’t want to attack his opponent. Dilan noted, however, that the real victim in this story is the 3-year-old child that died.
“When I run for re-election, I run on my own track record. The voters will have to decide who is better qualified for office,” he said.
Dilan cited his record in the senate fighting for affordable housing, by co-sponsoring several measures to improve and preserve existing housing. Additionally, he said he was proud of co-sponsoring a bill that increased the penalty for any person who drives intoxicated with a child passenger, and working on the MTA budget including advocating for more funding for reduced fares.
Medena, a52-year-old mother of four and grandmother of six, is something of a darling of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. She ran against a solid race against Dilan in 2014, garnering a solid 42 percent of the vote to Dilan’s 58 percent. She was also the Working Families Party (WFP) candidate in the 2014 general election where she was trounced 72-13 percent.
In this go-round, Medina has the support of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, the New Kings Democrats political club, Make the Road Action and New York Communities for Change.
Medina did not return emails or calls at post time.
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