State Senator Jose Peralta is dropping his bid for borough president and endorsing county pick Melinda Katz for the job.
“I want to thank the thousands of Queens residents and civic and community leaders that I had the pleasure of meeting during the course of the campaign,” Peralta said in a statement. “Your warm reception of my candidacy and your encouragement and support are enormously appreciated.”
Peralta, along with Councilmember Leroy Comrie, was thought at one point to get the county’s Democratic Party endorsement for Borough Hall. District leaders ultimately backed Katz, a former councilmember and former assemblymember who’s second in polls and fund raising.
The second-term state senator is the second candidate to drop out and endorse Katz. Former Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik threw his support behind Katz last week after dropping out.
Insiders believe Democrats have been pressuring candidates to drop out and make way for Katz.
Whoever wins will likely face a general election as Republican Tony Arcabascio has declared an interest in running.
The race is now down to four Democrats in the narrowing primary: Katz, Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., the front runner in polls and money raised, State Senator Tony Avella and Comrie, who is expected to officially announce his candidacy Monday.
Peralta, in his statement, said he plans on continuing to fight for issues he laid out in his beep campaign. Those include fighting for more seats in schools, getting more affordable housing in the borough and kindling economic growth.
Since officially announcing last fall, Peralta has raised a total $301,316 on the road to Borough Hall, according to the city’s Campaign Finance Board. That number is comparatively lower than that raised by Vallone Jr.—well over $1 million—or Katz—more than $400,000—but still ranks him third of the six declared candidates.