Former Hiram Aide Backs Peralta In Race For 13th Dist. Seat
Two days after state Senator Hiram Monserrate was ejected from the senate and Governor David Paterson called for a special election to fill the vacancy, Assemblymember Jose Peralta was endorsed to fill the vacancy by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and three Queens councilmembers, including two whose council seats are within the senate district.
One of those two councilmembers, Julissa Ferreras, served as chief of staff to Monserrate and had been endorsed by him in the special election to succeed him in the council after he was elected a state senator last January.
Ferreras represents Corona. The other councilmember, who represents Jackson Heights, which is also in the 13th state senate district, is Daniel Dromm.
The third councilmember who endorsed Peralta in the special election was Peter Vallone Jr. (D–Astoria).
The endorsement from Ferreras will be significant if Monserrate decides to run in the March 16 special election or if he opts to run against Peralta in the general election later this year, when all state legislative seats will be up for grabs.
Monserrate was booted out of the senate eight days ago because of his conviction for misdemeanor assault on his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo. His former senate colleagues, who voted 53 to 8 to oust him, spoke of the seriousness of Monserrate’s action and how it impacted domestic violence cases generally.
Ferreras, in endorsing Peralta, indicated advocacy of women’s issues would be raised in her campaigning for Peralta, whether or not Monserrate is on the ballot against him on March 16 or afterward.
Ferreras stated that as chair of the council Women’s Committee, she was “on the frontlines every day, dealing with the critical issues facing women, and making sure that we live in a city that protects their rights and advances their dreams”.
As for Peralta, Ferreras stated, “He is someone who has shown time and time again that he is a leader on the issues that matter most to women, including his call for a domestic rights task force.”
Ferreras will preach this on Peralta’s behalf during his campaign in hopes that it will resonate with Hispanic women.
Quinn based her endorsement of Peralta on his being “a long time and strong supporter” of the lesbian and gay community who supported the Marriage Equality Act (which failed to win approval in the senate). She also hailed Peralta for his support of such issues affordability, housing and education. Peralta has already been endorsed by the Queens County Democratic Party to succeed Monserrate. MeanwhileMonserratewillbe back tomorrow in federal court in Manhattanbefore District Court Judge William H. Pauley. Last Thursday, Pauley denied Monserrate’s request to temporarily block his expulsion by the senate and halt the special election.
Monserrate has filed a civil rights suit alleging that his rights were violated when the senate voted to oust him. A decision in the case could come as early as tomorrow.
WEPRIN TROUNCES FRIEDRICH: David Weprin became the 24th Assembly District representative last Tuesday, taking the special election by a count of 4,282 to 2,633, according to unofficial returns.
Weprin, who ran on the Democratic, Working Families and Independence Party lines, succeeds his brother, Mark, who is now serving in the city council. David Weprin had served there for eight years before giving up the seat to run for state comptroller.
Weprin plans to take his seat in the Assembly about 10 days after the Board of Elections certifies the results of the special election.
His election continues the line of Weprins in the Assembly started by his late father, Saul, who was first elected to the Eastern Queens seat about 35 years ago and who once was the speaker of that body.
TOWN HALL MEETING ON NO. 7 LINE: Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D–Long Island City) will hold an emergency meeting tonight to give constituents in his Long Island City/Woodside district an opportunity to speak directly with MTA members and his staff on all issues concerning the No. 7 subway line and transportation issues in general.
The disruptions on the line are having a “crippling effect on Western Queens”, Van Bramer said. The MTA town hall meeting will be held at Manducatis Rustica Restaurant, 46- 35 Vernon Blvd. in Long Island City beginning at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m.
TABONE ENDORSEMENT: The United Council for Veterans’ Rights has endorsed Vince Tabone in his race against Assemblymember Ann Margaret Carrozza, the 26th Assembly District (Bayside) Democratic incumbent.
Tabone, vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party, said that as the son of a Vietnam era veteran, he was proud to have the veterans’ group’s support. UCVR President Marvin Jeffcoat said that if elected, Tabone would support a full medical center at the St. Albans VA Campus and an enhanced veterans real property tax exemption.
The district includes Bay Terrace, Douglaston and Whitestone and parts of Bayside, Flushing, Floral Park and Little Neck.
RENEWING MARRIAGE VOWS FOR SENIORS: Councilmember Mark Weprin (D–Hollis) will officiate at a ceremony renewing marriage vows for couples married 50 years or more at a Valentine’s Day party this Friday morning at the SNAP senior center, 80-45 Winchester Blvd. in Queens Village.
PETITION AGAINST MTA CUTBACKS: Councilmember Daniel Dromm (D–Jackson Heights) is circulating a city council petition “to beat back this latest MTA doomsday plan and preserve mass transit service”.
The petition was in response to a recent MTA budget-slashing plan that would take away students’ discounted MetroCards, cut Access-A-Ride services for seniors and eliminate or shorten dozens of bus and subway lines.
Dromm said the cutbacks would collectively “represent the worst reduction in NYC mass transit service in at least a generation”.
ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE BLASTS MTA BONUSES: Promising to closely monitor MTA bonus policies while state legislators turn the other cheek, Forest Hills Assembly candidate Lillianna Zulunova said if elected, she will “demand real answers and fight fare hikes”.
Zulunova said she will run against incumbent Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi in this year’s Democratic Party primary. The 28th Assembly District includes Forest Hills, Rego Park and the Maspeth/Glendale area.