First candidate of color runs for Islip seat

Newsday, May 31, 2011

Two weeks ago, Islip Town Democrats nominated Renee

Photo credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr./ Newsday

For 47 years, Mary Reid has waited for Islip’s town board to represent the growing diversity of the communities it serves.

“We should be able to go to a town board meeting and see someone who looks like us,” said Reid, 74, of Bay Shore, a black woman.

This fall, she will be able to vote for such a candidate.

Two weeks ago, Islip Town Democrats nominated Renee Ortiz — a German, Jewish and Puerto Rican woman from Central Islip — to run for one of two open seats on the board. Party leaders say Ortiz’s deep community roots and long record in governmental positions make her a qualified candidate.

If elected, Ortiz would be the first person of color on the town board, Islip Town historian Robert Finnegan said.

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