It turned out to be a huge victory for Francisco Moya in the Democratic primary for the 39th Assembly District seat.
“I feel fantastic,” Moya said. “Dignity and integrity won.”
Moya, 36, defeated disgraced ex-Senator Hiram Monserrate, who tried to find his way back to Albany by way of the Assembly seat, which covers parts of Corona, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. The seat is vacant after Jose Peralta won a Special Election to replace Monserrate as State Senator for the 13th District.
Moya, a community activist, won with more than 66 percent of the votes. As of 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14, Moya had received 2,711 votes and Monserrate got 1,356 votes.
“I just want to thank all of the people who came out to vote,” said Moya, who would become the first Ecuadorian-American elected to state office in New York. “I just want to tell them it is a victory they can all be proud of.”
Monserrate voted at 9 a.m. at the Renaissance School on 81st Street and 37th Avenue. While Moya voted a few miles away at 10 a.m. at St. Leo’s Church School on 49th Avenue and 104th Street.
“I know who to vote for,” Monserrate said at the voting site.
Even though Monserrate was confident he would win, clearly some of Monserrate’s former constituents came out to make sure he does not represent them again. They are still upset about the December 2008 incident in which he allegedly slashed his girlfriend Karla Giraldo’s face with a broken glass and pulled her through the lobby of his apartment by her hair on the way to the hospital.
Monserrate was then forced out by the State Senate this past February after being found guilty of a misdemeanor assault against Giraldo in October 2009. To add fuel to the fire, The New York Post reported on Thursday, September 9 that Councilmember Julissa Ferreras had to be escorted by police officers, after her tires were slashed and animal feces were left outside her office. Ferreras told The Post she believes supporters of Monserrate are behind the disturbing incidents over the last few months because she’s backed Moya. Monserrate’s campaign denied those allegations.
“He (Monserrate) is willing to work and I think he deserves a second chance,” his supporter Eduardo Giraldo, vice president of corporate and Government Affairs of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens, said right after Monserrate voted. “He has paid dearly for his mistakes and I think he has repented and wants to work for the community he knows, and this is his last chance.”
After finding out about his win, Moya said he is just anxious to serve the community he grew up in.
“Now, we just got to get to work,” said Moya, who has no Republican challenger.