Candidates push for support from minority voters in New York primary

NEW YORK (WABC) -- This is the first time in decades the New York primary has mattered in the presidential race, and the candidates are fighting especially hard for support from minority voters.

This election season minority voters are facing a number of issues that affect them. And on this Primary Day, we wanted to know which issues are important and which candidates speak to them.

"The minority vote is very much feeling that a lot is at stake," said the Rev. Al Sharpton.

As minority voters head to the polls in New York, they believe their vote carries even more weight than in previous primaries, and some think history could be made again.

"I want her to make history, to be the first lady president in the United States," said voter Harry Reyes.

Reyes is giving his vote to Hillary Clinton. But Rev. Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network, sees the minority voter facing another historical difference.

"This is the first time in American history that we are actually voting for a white to succeed a black president and we've never been there before, so there is a lot on people's minds today," he said.

At one polling site in Harlem, mostly black and Hispanic voters said racial, employment and educational and justice issues are important, and how a candidate addresses those issues influences their vote.

Patrick Freeman voted for Bernie Sanders. "I feel we need somebody for the people. We've got to see somebody who's been there for the people for the longest," said Freeman.

Shawnee and Alberto Fontaine are going with Sanders. "It's going to be hard for him because of how he wants these things to happen. It's going to be a fight," Shawnee said.

"Something about his character, straight up guy," said Alberto.

Litha Johnson voted. "I'm looking for what they stand for and what they can do to take us forward, to put us in a better place," said Johnson.

Their turnout will also be closely watched with an eye to the general election. "Tonight I think is a forecast of what the turnout will be and which way minority voters will tilt in November," said Sharpton.

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