Councilwoman Kristy Marmorato Makes History With Bronx District 13 Introduction Ceremony

Gonzalo Duran
Published on January 29, 2024, 4:34 pm
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On January 27, 2024, against the backdrop of a charming Saturday afternoon at the Maritime Academic Center, packed with attendees, New York City Councilwoman Kristy Marmorato made her entrance for the ceremonial In-District Introduction for District 13. Signifying her groundbreaking victory back in November 2023, which marked a historic moment in Bronx election history as she became the first female Republican elected representative, this milestone not only shapes her political career but also significantly impacts the borough’s political landscape. The anticipation and tension surrounding this momentous event were very perceivable.

With the increasing dynamics of the Republican Party in the Bronx and New York City undergoing tremendous political scrutiny, and Marmorato’s victory breaking a four-decade-long Republican drought, many are grappling with the implications of this historic win. The emergence of a formidable Republican and Conservative Party presence in the traditionally Democratic borough presents a new and complex political terrain for both politicians and constituents.

Traditionally, Democrats have contended with internal party challenges and navigating ranks within their circles. However, Marmorato’s victory suggests that Democrats may now confront new challenges and opposition from rival party members, mainly the Republican Party.

Despite occasional sly remarks and comments exchanged during politicians’ speeches, the overall atmosphere remained congenial, with any potential conflicts set aside in honor of the historic occasion. The event proceeded smoothly, culminating in Marmorato’s speech followed by a room filled with praise from fellow elected officials, family, and friends.

I took the opportunity to ask elected officials from the three major parties, family, and friends their thoughts on the event and if they had any advice for Marmorato’s upcoming tenure. Here are their responses.

Councilwoman Marmorato’s Chief of Staff, April Cardena said “We never hoped that we would not be here, and every day we had always had the sense that we were doing this for the right reasons. We were very proud of the diligence and transparency in the work we did. We were hoping for this turnout, but overall, we are just happy to have made an impact on the community, and now we are here to celebrate.”

Bronx Republican Party Chairman, Michael Rendino said “When I took over the Bronx Republican Party, I always said it proudly, and I never thought in a million years that Kristy would come to me telling me she would want to run for office. I told her she was crazy, but look at her now. We are all very proud of her and look forward to the great work she will do.”

Bronx County Conservative Party Chairman, Patrick McManus said “I am happy to be here. Kristy fought a hard fight, and it is a well-deserved victory. The fact that we were able to do this in the Bronx is very exciting. This shows those all over the city that the people are ready for change, to move away from the failing Democratic Party policies that have been causing the city to suffer for decades, and this shows the people that there is hope. The Bronx Conservative Party is proud to have endorsed Kristy, and we look forward to working with her over the next two years.”

Campaign Volunteer and Supporter for Kristy Marmorato, Mark Goret said “I am very happy for her. The last time we had a Republican representative was in 1981, which was Councilman at large, the late Joseph Savino. It is good to have someone after 40 years. She got elected, and she is going to do great things for this district.”

Former Gubernatorial Candidate and Special Assistant to the President, Andrew Giuliani said “This event brings a lot of pride because in some areas where Republicans thought they couldn’t win, there is more excitement for some of the conservative ideas that I think will ultimately save the city.”

New York City Public Advocate, Jumaane Williams said “I remember when I was first elected. Understanding that it is hard to do the right thing, even if not everyone agrees with you. Just stay focused because that is why we are here. Remember to make time for your family because work and personal life can sometimes blend together, and that can be difficult.”

Campaign Volunteer for Kristy Marmorato, Evelyn Hayes said “I was a volunteer for Kristy. I am so proud of her and proud of April. They are just great people, like family to me, and I love them all.”

Council Member Susan Zhuang said “This was a great event, and I look forward to working with her. She’s great, a very good person. I hope we have more common-sense members join. We had training together and we agree on many things, especially public safety.”

Former State Assembly Member and Councilman, Mark Gjonaj said “She is going to be a great councilmember because she understands that she represents and will be a voice of the community, taking their wishes and issues to City Hall. I expect Kristy to become a member of the common-sense caucus within City Hall and look forward to Kristy and the common-sense council members waking up City Hall and doing the bidding of the constituents and the people they represent instead of ideologies.”

State Senator Nathalia Fernandez said “This is an exciting time for her. The race was tough, but regardless of the outcome, it’s a historic moment, and now is the time to appreciate that. So, I look forward to working with Kristy, as I do with everyone within my district, to ensure we advocate for the resources and needs of not just the East Bronx, but the borough as a whole, and the city and state.”

Councilman Ruben Diaz, Sr. said “I am always working with Republicans, and especially now, they see this mess—the border is a mess. The Democrats have done a very bad job, and I am proud to be a part of Kristy Marmorato’s victory. I have told other Democrats to be careful because they could be next. Now, especially in Spanish communities, we are used to being all Democrats, but we are moving, little by little, and we are going to be a great force here in the Bronx.”

Commissioner of the NYC Board of Elections, Gino Marmorato said “As for advice to my wife, I have had the fortune and pleasure of working with some wonderful people at the Board of Elections. It is a bipartisan organization, so we have to work together for the betterment of our voters, Republicans and Democrats. There may be times when disagreements arise, but as long as we treat one another with respect and discuss our differences in a healthy manner, it is acceptable. The ultimate goal in public service is to serve the people who voted for them and their community.

“My wife has already been doing this for years, never discriminating against anyone based on their political ideology, race, or gender. I will continue to encourage her to work hard. I do not know anyone who works as hard as she does. Kristy is one of the most integral individuals I know, and while politics may challenge one’s integrity, I know Kristy’s integrity will never waver. I am blessed and proud of my wife, and I know she will do an amazing job as a council member.”

Gonzalo Duran
As a seasoned professional in both the military and civic realms, Gonzalo Duran brings a wealth of experience to his role as the Chief Executive Officer of Devil Dog USA Incorporated. A former United States Marine Sergeant, he not only leads a non-profit dedicated to supporting Veterans’ reintegration but also holds key positions in Bronx County’s political landscape, including Vice Chairman of the Bronx County Conservative Party and (C) District Leader for the 79th Assembly District. With over a decade as a CEO, Gonzalo is a multifaceted contributor to his community, excelling as an access producer, talk show host, columnist, chaplain, and advocate.