Although he already had picked up the endorsement of the Queens Democratic Party, state Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) has begun to rack up individual endorsements in his bid to replace embattled state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-East Elmhurst).
Peralta earned the support of Assemblymen Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona) and Michael DenDekker (D-Jackson Heights), as well as City Councilman-elect Daniel Dromm.
“Jose has the depth of experience and the fresh ideas we need in a progressive leader, and he will be a senator that brings all communities together to achieve common goals,” Aubry said in a statement.”
DenDekker, who backed Monserrate in 2008 when he successfully beat incumbent John Sabini for the Queens Dems’ endorsement for state Senate, praised his colleague Peralta.
“Jose will be a staunch advocate for Queens families and will continue his great work of standing up for the rights of working New Yorkers, immigrants, seniors, children and all of New York’s most vulnerable individuals,” he said.
Peralta also got the nod from several of the district leaders in Monserrate’s Senate district, including Dorothy Phelan, Fior Rodriguez, Veta Brome, James Lisa, Ellen Raffaele, Matt DiStefano and former District Leader Jimmy Smythe.
Peralta, 37, said he put his name in for consideration after Monserrate, 42, was convicted of misdemeanor assault for roughly dragging his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, out of his Jackson Heights apartment following a fight in December. He was acquitted of felony charges after being accused of slashing Giraldo’s face open with a broken glass. Both have maintained her injuries were accidental.
A committee has been formed in the state Senate to investigate what power the body has to penalize Monserrate, who has ignored calls to step down after the misdemeanor conviction. He is slated to be sentenced to up to a year in jail next month.
Not all community leaders were behind Peralta, however. Upon hearing the news that Peralta was preparing his Senate bid, LeFrak City Merchants Association President James Galloway sent out an e-mail indicating his continued support for Monserrate.
“Someone or something has to convince me that he has done something illegal or unethical in order for me to change my position,” he wrote. “If this is not able to be proven, then let this man do his business for the people that he represents.”
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2009 Community News Group
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