PHL-15: Diaz Attacks Kenney for LUPE Endorsement
Suffice to say, Judge Diaz is not happy about it.
This morning, the Kenney campaign announced the support of LUPE, which includes officials like State Reps. Leslie Acosta and Angel Cruz.
“Whether it was his work on ending ICE holds or supporting immigrant entrepreneurs, Jim always prioritized issues important to minority communities,” said Representative Acosta, chairwoman of LUPE and daughter of former state Representative Ralph Acosta. “We look forward to working with Jim to make Philadelphia an even more inclusive city in the years to come.”
“I’m honored to have the support of these elected and community leaders,” said Kenney. “Too often Latinos are talked about as a segregated voting block, but this endorsement along with the diverse coalition behind my campaign is proof positive that we can all work together to create a better Philadelphia. With the guidance and advice from these Latino representatives, I will work to institute municipal IDs and end stop-and-frisk as mayor.”
This move infuriated the campaign of Judge Nelson Diaz, the sole Latino candidate in the Philly Mayoral Democratic primary.
“Last week, I was told in no uncertain terms that unless I was willing to fund and participate in a joint campaign with Manny Morales, this group would drop their endorsement of me and endorse a candidate willing to make that deal,” Judge Diaz announced in a statement. “I again asked for some evidence Morales hadn’t made the hateful statements attributed to him, but wasn’t given that evidence, because it almost certainly does not exist. My integrity is the most important asset I have, and so I said no. If supporting Manny Morales is the price of this endorsement, it is not a price I am willing to pay. Apparently Jim Kenney is willing to make that deal. I am profoundly disappointed but not surprised. He values his own election more than his integrity, and more than basic progressive values.”
Kenney’s campaign fired back, strenuously denying any such deal.
We are absolutely not supporting Manny Morales, nor did we make any such deal with LUPE,” Kenney’s spokeswoman Lauren Hitt responded. “We have given LUPE no money and are not coordinating a “campaign” with them. Maybe Mr. Diaz gave them money after they endorsed him, but we don’t pay for our endorsements. LUPE has endorsed a number of different candidates for City Council and other municipal offices who aren’t supporting Morales either. A number of LUPE’s members also revoked their support for Morales after his Facebook allegations came to light, just as Nelson Diaz did.”
“The Diaz campaign is embarrassed over losing the endorsement of a Latino organization who were unimpressed with the campaign they’ve run and the policies they presented, and the campaign is making offensive, ridiculous accusations to try to excuse it,” she concluded.
At this moment, Kenney is running neck and neck with State Senator Anthony Williams at the top of the polls. Given the complex racial math in Philadelphia, Latino support would be a big boost to the ex-Councilman’s campaign. It’s unclear what effect this episode will have on those efforts.