Judge Nelson A. Diaz is embarking on a quest to become the first Latino Mayor of Philadelphia, the former Common Pleas Court Judge announced today.
Diaz cited the city’s failing school system as one of his motivations for running for office: “I’m going to fix the school system, no matter what. I will die fixing the school system,” the candidate pledged.
Diaz talked briefly about the School Reform Commission, which he called “totally ridiculous,” stating “that for 13 years we have had a reform commission that has done nothing about reform.”
Diaz served as a judge on the Common Pleas Court from 1981 to 1993. In 2001 he became City Solicitor under Mayor John Street, a position he held until 2004. His background also includes serving as an aide to Vice-President Walter Mondale.
Currently, he is a partner at the Dilworth Paxson law firm, in addition to serving on the Board of Trustees for Temple University.
A primary task of Diaz, who is of Puerto Rican descent, will be to energize the approximately 110,000 registered Latino voters in Philadelphia for the election.
In fact, Diaz emphasized his heritage during his announcement, citing his accomplishment of being “the first Puerto Rican to graduate from Temple Law and pass the Pennsylvania bar exam,” and that he was “one of the first Latinos to serve in the White House.”