City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo has announced that she will resign at the end of the year, after 10 years representing Hunts Point and Mott Haven.
In a brief statement, Arroyo said, “After much consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to resign from the City Council effective December 31, 2015,” adding later in the release that “I must now dedicate my time and efforts to address pressing family needs.”
The city charter requires the mayor to call a special election to fill the unexpired term of any council member who resigns. The mayor has three days from the date of a vacancy to set a date for the election, which then must be held 45 days later, so voters would choose Arroyo’s replacement in mid-February. The winner would serve out the balance of Arroyo’s term, until 2017.
Arroyo’s staff will continue to run constituent services from Arroyo’s 149th St. office until a new member takes office.
Her chief of staff, Joann Otero, is likely to be among the candidates vying to replace Arroyo. Last week, she held a fundraiser at Charlie’s Kitchen in Port Morris to help jump-start her candidacy.
At least seven more people are considering entering the race, and three have so far announced that they’re running: Julio Pabon, who ran against Arroyo in 2013; and Anthony Sanchez, a staff analyst with the city. Rafael Salamanca, the district manager of Community Board 2 in Hunts Point, has expressed interest and said he will make an announcement in the coming days.
Special elections are non-partisan, allowing candidates to vie for a seat regardless of party affiliation.
Additional reporting by Annie Nova.