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And there were no Puerto-Ricans in your party district?
No, my district leadership -- no.
Did you nonetheless have any relationships with any Puerto Rican
leaders before you became a Congressman or before you
ran for Congress?
The only relationship I had was with Bert Aponte, who
became a part of my district I think in ‘72 when that area was
added, and the question was whether or not Bella was going to
run against me. That particular section of the district had been
hers, and so it was important that I line up as many district
leaders as possible saying no matter who ran against me they
would be supporting me, because she was looking for a place to
run and she dislikes me intensely. Bella and I just dislike
one another intensely, personally as well as politically. So
I asked all the district leaders in my district, the old ones as
well as the new ones -- that was Bert Aponte -- to sign a statement
that they supported me in the reelection no matter who came
into the race. That was obviously pointed against her. He was
very important. I had lunch with him, and I was very appreciative.
I'm really very pleased that he never asked me to support him
in the race against Arturo, because I had told Arturo, “I owe
a lot to Bert, and if Bert asks me to support him, I will support
him even though I like you.” But Bert never asked me. It was
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