The Colón Connection

Willie Eyes the Senate

Bronx Democratic state senator Efrain Gonzalez, whose district takes in the West Bronx, is also a dyed-in-the-wool realist.

"Look," said Gonzalez in a telephone interview from New York last week, "in a statewide race, Willie doesn't stand much of a chance, between you and me." A friend of Colón's who has committed to support Mrs. Clinton, Gonzalez says, "I'm all in favor of more Latinos running for office and becoming part of the political process." But he notes that it's already late, and since Clinton likely has the state Democratic delegates locked up, Colón would have to organize an intensive petition drive statewide just to get on the ballot. That, plus raise lots of money. No small task, concedes Gonzalez.

For his part, Willie Colón remains as pass-ionate as ever about his chances. "I believe I can get people motivated. I'm going to be like a pest. I'm going to get momentum. And even if I lose," he says, "it will teach the party a lesson. They can't take us for granted anymore. The party's got to listen to the people."

Moxie and mucho corazón.

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