Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who acknowledged he was mulling a potential citywide bid next year, has decided instead to play it safe and seek re-election to his current post.

In the statement announcing his decision, Diaz Jr. says he was exploring the possibility of a run for public advocate. Last December, he also said he was considering a possible mayoral bid.

Apparently, however, the Bronx Democrat, former assemblyman and son of Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. has assessed the already crowded field and decided now is not the time for him to make his move for higher office. He says he still has work to do.

“There are many issues that still face our borough, and many amazing projects that are in the works,” the borough president wrote.

“My administration has, since first taking office in 2009, focused on new job creation, education, business development and transportation, among other issues, as we seek to transform the Bronx into an even greater place to live, work and raise a family. The needs of the people of the Bronx are foremost on my mind and in my heart. Therefore, I have decided to run for reelection as Bronx Borough President in 2013.”

Had Diaz Jr. remained in the race, he would have been the only Latino public advocate candidate. The office’s current occupant, Bill de Blasio, is gearing up for a mayoral run of his own, though he is eligible to seek another four-year term.

Also mentioned as potential candidates are Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James; Reshma Saujani, who lost a primary challenge to Rep. Carolyn Maloney two years ago and recently left a job with in de Blasio’s office; and Brooklyn Sen. Daniel Squadron, who spent much of this past campaign cycle raising money for a likely NYC run next year and not on his re-election bid. (He easily won another two-year term in Albany).

Among the accomplishments Diaz cites in his statement is working with Mayor Bloomberg to bring “responsible development” to the Kingsbridge Armory. That deal was a long time coming after Diaz and his allies tanked an initial redevelopment plan by demanding that any business setting up shop in the rebuilt Kingsbridge be required to pay a “living wage” of at least $10 an hour, plus $1.50 in benefits.

Now there’s a proposal to convert the long-empty armory into a national ice center with nine ice rinks and extensive youth hockey and skating programs, and Diaz Jr. has become a champion of the plan.

A competing proposal by Young Woo & Associates calls for partnering with a number of businesses and nonprofit organizations to make the 575,000-square-foot Bronx fortress a “town square” with sports, stores, restaurant stalls, a movie theater, a business incubator, a fitness club and an artisan market.

Diaz Jr. cruised to an easy victory in the April 2009 special election to replace former Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion, who departed to take a job with the Obama administration, defeating the Republican Party candidate Anthony Ribustello with an overwhelming 87 percent of the vote.

Now Carrion, who took a pass on a citywide run himself back in 2009, is back and trying to get NYC’s GOP leaders to let them run for mayor on their ballot line. He has dropped his Democratic enrollment to become an independent, and would be the city’s first Latino mayor if he’s successful next fall.

Final Edited–running for Reelection 11152012