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Queens County Dems back Monserrate over Sabini

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Queens County Democrats have backed Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-East Elmhurst) over incumbent state Sen. John Sabini (D-Jackson Heights) in the upcoming state Senate race.

Party leaders voted 12-0 Friday morning to back the challenger for State Senate District 13, which includes East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona. Two leaders abstained.

“It was a very difficult decision,” said Michael Reich, executive secretary of the Queens Democratic Party. “A lot of people are very fond of John, but the compelling decision was on electability and going forward to represent that district.”

“I am grateful to have the support of the Queens County Democratic Party,” Monserrate said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to working with them as a state Senator to improve the lives of New Yorkers. I will work hard to help Democrats win a majority in the State Senate and establish new and progressive leadership in Albany.”

Sabini’s office was not immediately available for a comment, but the senator previously suggested he would not drop out of the race if he did not win the endorsement.

“I’d be disappoint­ed,” he said earlier this week of losing party support. “But at the same time, the voters are the ones to make the choice. I’m pretty confident it’ll be with me.”

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