By Bill Parry
City Comptroller Scott Stringer endorsed Jackson Heights resident Jessica Ramos in her Democratic primary challenge against state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) Thursday in Corona.
Stringer became to first citywide elected official to endorse a candidate running against an incumbent member of the Independent Democratic Conference, which shares power with Senate Republicans that allows the GOP to control the chamber.
“Democrats have actually won these seats,” Stringer said. “They go to Albany, but instead of working with Democrats, they work with the Republicans. There’s imbalance.”
He added that during the era of President Donald Trump, it is now more important to support “true Democrats” as the first line of defense in Albany.
“I’m here today because I want to see a Democratic state Senate. I want to break the dam,” Stringer said. “And I also want to support the next generation, not just in the Latino community, but throughout the city, and I believe Jessica Ramos, through her government resume and her life story, is somebody who is going to get to the state Senate and fight for change in a way we’ve never seen before.”
Ramos worked with Build Up NYC to fight for construction, hotel, and maintenance workers in New York City and served as a Democratic District leader from 2010 to 2014. She most recently served as Director of Latino Media in the de Blasio administration before stepping down to challenge Peralta.
For Ramos it is her third major endorsement in two weeks after City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) supported her campaign last week and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) followed with his endorsement Monday at the Woodside Houses. The Queens-born mother of two said she was honored to have Stinger join her campaign against Peralta.
“I’m running for state Senate to increase school funding, expand affordable housing, and fix our broken subway system,” Ramos said. “My community deserves a leader who will put working families first — instead of Jose Peralta, a Senator who empowers Republicans at the expense of his district.”
The Peralta campaign dismissed the comptroller’s endorsement.
“While Senator Peralta is focused on delivering results for his constituents on public housing, fixing the MTA, immigration and funding education, it seems Scott Stringer is playing politics to satisfy his mayoral ambitions,” Peralta for Queens spokeswoman Jennifer Blatus said. “He should focus on his day job, we will not be distracted by his useless politicking.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr