New York Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado says he wants to bring unity to a divided America

When asked about growing up African American and Latino, Delgado, a Democrat on the ballot with Gov. Kathy Hochul this November, says he wants to connect across communities.

Loading the player...

New York Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado can do without labels. Delgado, who is of African American, Cape Verdean, Colombian, Mexican and Venezuelan heritage, was the first African American and Latino person from Upstate New York elected to Congress.

In a recent interview with theGrio, Delgado, 45, opened up about his multiethnic background and how it influences his governing style.

We’re living in a time where there’s a lot of labels, a lot of boxing in and people are sort of — you know — lining themselves up according to — you know — whatever the identity might be,” Delgado told theGrio.

“The district that I represented was 90% white in a rural district that Trump won. And so to be able to take my own personal mixed heritage and experiences and how I was brought up and raised as an Afro-Latino and be able to figure out on top of that … the fact that I’ve had diverse work experiences, from being a litigator to a hip-hop artist and then on top of that having come from a working-class family where I cut coupons and put clothes on layaway and then studying overseas at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, it’s given me a perspective that enables me to go into any community, be it Black, brown, white, and figure out how to connect with people in a real way.”

New York Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado says his varied perspective allows him to connect with people regardless of their background. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Before New York Gov. Kathy Hochul appointed him to the No. 2 role in the state, Delgado was considered the fourth most bipartisan member during his time in Congress. Hochul highlighted his moderate voting record and commitment to working across the aisle. The two will appear on the ballot for Governor and Lieutenant Governor in November, facing Republicans Rep. Lee Zeldin and NYPD Deputy Inspector Alison Esposito.

“I feel very blessed and fortunate to be in this position at this time with the background that I have, but also the experience that I have to hopefully be a voice for unity, be a voice that demands us to love each other in a way that we know is required for true change in this country and across our state,” Delgado told theGrio.

“I take that responsibility very seriously. And it is my identity. It is who I am.”

Watch the clip above and catch the interview with Lt. Governor Delgado on theGrio Weekly, this Friday, exclusively on theGrio’s mobile and streaming apps.

TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!

Loading the player...