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County Dems choose Monserrate over Sabini – QNS.com

County Dems choose Monserrate over Sabini

If State Senator John Sabini hopes to win another term, he will have to do it without the support of the Queens County Democratic Organization.
The party, which supported Sabini during his first two Senate races as well as while he was a City Councilmember for two terms, officially endorsed current City Councilmember Hiram Monserrate for the 13th Senate District.
“I am grateful to have the support of the Queens County Democratic Party. I look forward to working with them as a State Senator to improve the lives of New Yorkers,” Monserrate said. “I will work hard to help Democrats win a majority in the State Senate and establish new and progressive leadership in Albany.”
Sabini and Monserrate faced off in a 2006 Democratic primary for the Senate seat in 2006 with the Queens Democratic Organization backing Sabini during an election Sabini won by less than 400 votes. During that race, both the Sabini and Monserrate campaigns accused each other of impropriety, and the race turned ugly at times.
The county’s endorsement, which came on Friday May 23, came after the organization met the previous week for more than four hours, and 12 of the 14 leaders chose Monserrate with two leaders abstaining.
“The residents of Queens work hard every day to provide their children a better quality of life,” said Monserrate. “Over the past six years, I have helped secure jobs for the men and women of Queens, funding for better schools, expanded health care access and made our neighborhoods safer by securing additional police resources.”
Sabini released a statement shortly after the party made its decision that emphasized he would not drop out of the race and that it would be up to the voters to decide who they want as their representative. In addition, a spokesperson for Senate Minority Malcolm Smith said the Senator will continue to support Sabini.
Both candidates have dealt with their share of controversy since the 2006 Senate race.
In September of 2007, Albany police pulled over Sabini and charged him with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) after he failed to take a breathalyzer test. Sabini pleaded guilty to Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), a lesser offense than the original misdemeanor, in February of this year.
Monserrate has come under fire during the recent City Council slush fund controversy after a New York Times article revealed that Monserrate has directed nearly $400,000 to Libre, a non-profit organization where many of his former and current staffers have held leadership positions. The report found that the organization has not filed tax returns for the past two years and has never officially registered with the state as a non-profit.
Candidates can begin collecting signatures on June 3 in order to qualify to get on the ballot for the primary that will take place in September.

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