EDITOR’S NOTE: The AP projects Democrat Ritchie Torres has defeated Republican Patrick Delices. 

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The race for the 15th congressional district in the South Bronx pits a history-making councilman against a Republican trying to beat the odds.

As CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports, in the South Bronx, candidate Patrick Delices (R) and Councilman Ritchie Torres (D) approach the issues plaguing this community very differently.

“There’s a lot of garbage piled up in the parks of the Bronx,” Delices said. “The homeless issue in the Bronx is on the rise. Drug addiction is on the rise.”

“The unemployment rate in the South Bronx could be as high as 25%, which is comparable to the joblessness of the Great Depression. So the challenges are very real. Where there are challenges there are real opportunities,” Torres said.

The 15th congressional district has been a Democratic stronghold for decades. Delices is running as a conservative, and has never held public office.

“I’m a rational Republican. I’m a compassionate conservative. I’m a Republican in the tradition of Frederick Douglass,” Delices said.

Meantime Torres, who served on the City Council for seven years, beat a dozen Democratic challengers to win the primary touting policies like expanding housing vouchers and child tax credits.

“My focus is make housing more affordable, put people back to work, and put income back in the pockets of people who need it,” Torres said.

“The South Bronx is the home of hip hop and hip hop has a lot of prominent celebrities – getting these celebrities involved, bringing them back home like, J Lo,” Delices said.

Delices is battling to get name recognition, while Torres continues to break new ground – first as the youngest member of the City Council, and now vying to become the first Afro-Latino openly gay member of Congress.

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