Queens senator gets county endorsement, but opponent questions his party loyalty

Senator Jose Peralta
Photo courtesy of the office of Senator Jose Peralta

State Senator Jose Peralta received an endorsement from Queens County Democratic Party (QD) for his re-election campaign on May 21 — but his opponent claims that the senator has “betrayed” his party in the past.

Michael Reich, the executive secretary of the QD confirmed that the District 13 Senator is the candidate whom the organization would support during the 2018 races in November.

“New Yorkers want to see their public officials fighting to advance progressive values and enact measures that will create good-paying jobs, expand access to health care, protect immigrants, and keep guns out of our schools and communities. The only way these goals will be accomplished is by working together to elect Democrats at every level of government. For this reason, the Queens County Democratic Party believes Jose Peralta is the right choice for District 13 and endorses his re-election,” said Reich in an official statement on Monday.

Peralta, whose district represents communities in Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurst, said that he is “immensely proud to have received the support of Queens County.” He added that he has had the privilege of serving his constituents with “the steadfast leadership they deserve” for the eight years he has been in office. The senator was part of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) for 14 months. The IDC is a group of Democratic senators that caucused separately from other Democrats in the senate.

“With the support from Queens County, I once again reaffirm my commitment to champion progressive values and issues that move our state forward. Working with my Queens colleagues, I have fought tirelessly for working men and women by successfully raising the minimum wage and passing paid family leave, bettering our schools, securing historic levels of legal aid funding for immigrants, and protecting tenants and homeowners. Our work is not over, but this endorsement signals to the people of Queens that we are united in fighting for them,” Peralta said.

In addition to the Queens County Democratic Party, the senator has received the endorsements of several organizations and individuals, including RWDSU, Plumbers Local 1, Uniformed Fire Officers Association, Uniformed Firefighters Association, CWA Local 1180, Teamsters Local 831, Steamfitters Local 638, Assemblyman Jeff Aubry, DC37 Local 1407, DC37 Local 372, and DC 9 Painters.

Meanwhile, Jessica Ramos, the senator’s main opponent in the District 13 Senate race, accused him of supporting Donald Trump and scorned ex-senator Hiram Monserrate. She implied that the senator was not loyal to the Democratic Party.

“First Jose Peralta embraced the party of Trump. Then he sought support from domestic abuser Hiram Monserrate. Now that it’s an election year, he has conveniently decided to join the Democratic Party once again. Comptroller Stringer, Council members Constantinides and Van Bramer, the Working Families Party, and thousands of grassroots supporters are supporting our campaign — because they know that unlike Peralta, I will never betray our district or our party,” Ramos said.

Peralta’s press office responded to Ramos’ comments against the senator, calling her statements “false.”

“Senator Peralta has never embraced the policies of President Trump and has not sought out the support of fellow Democrat Hiram Monserrate. Jessica Ramos has delivered false information to deflect from the fact that Queens Democrats have united and are moving forward together for the betterment of the borough,” said Jennifer Blatus, a spokesperson for Peralta’s campaign.