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PHL-15: Diaz Earns Latino Victory Fund Endorsement (VIDEO)

Former Common Court Pleas Judge Nelson Diaz picked up a celebrity-status endorsement Monday night in his campaign for Philadelphia mayor.

The Democrat was endorsed by the Latino Victory Fund, a national non-partisan group that supports progressive Latino candidates. Its star power comes from one of its founders: Actress Eva Longoria co-founded the Latino Victory Fund with Democratic National Committee Finance Chair Henry Muñoz III in 2013.

“Nelson’s record as a civil rights activist and a dutiful public servant with over four decades of experience speaks to his character and level of commitment to lifting all Philadelphians up,” stated Cristobal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Fund. “Nelson became the first Puerto Rican to be accepted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1973 — and has broken barriers ever since.”

If elected, Diaz would become the first Latino mayor of Philadelphia, a fact that Alex acknowledges in his statement.

“We know that Nelson will be a strong advocate for the Latino community and will fight for the education standards that all Philadelphian children deserve,” Alex stated.

Diaz expressed that he was “honored and humbled” to receive the Latino Victory Fund’s endorsement.

“We need to create a city of opportunity that works for all Philadelphians, and that’s exactly what I’ve spent my career fighting for,” Diaz said in a statement. “Too many of our communities are trapped in a cycle of poverty and stuck in a failing school system. This endorsement is recognition that our campaign to change that sad reality is catching on.”

Diaz emphasized this “city of opportunity” in a new campaign web video released Tuesday, in which he stresses his prior work as a civil rights activist and promises to fight for a better Philadelphia school system.

The two-minute long spot splices together clips of news sources discussing the school system’s problems, followed by Diaz’s approach to the issue.

“The only way out of poverty is through education,” Diaz says in the ad. “The first thing you have to do is to fix that educational system so our children will have an opportunity in life.” Later in the video, Diaz calls Philadelphia’s school system crisis the “No. 1 civil rights issue in our community.”

Diaz’s new spot also highlights his Latino heritage and his political achievements. Diaz was “one of the first Latinos to serve in the White House,” the video says, as well as the “first Latino and youngest person to be elected judge in Pennsylvania.”

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