Jessica Ramos beats Jose Peralta in NY-13 State Senate race

Photos by Jenna Bagcal/QNS

Jessica Ramos emerged victorious in yesterday’s primary for New York’s 13th State Senate district.

The candidate beat out incumbent Senator and former IDC member Jose Peralta in his bid for re-election. According to results from the New York Board of Elections, Ramos gained 12,181 of the votes while Peralta gained 10,021 votes from district voters.

Since 2010, Peralta has been the incumbent Senator for District 13, which includes the neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Woodside and Astoria.

Hundreds gathered at Ramos’ results watch party at Barilles Restaurant and Sports Bar in Jackson Heights. Her family, friends and supporters erupted in cheers and chanted “Jessica” as the official results were reported on the televisions.

Also in attendance at the celebration were elected officials including Councilmen Costa Constantinides and Jimmy Van Bramer, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, all of whom had been canvassing and supporting Ramos throughout her campaign.


After yesterday’s win, Ramos told QNS that she was “excited” and “determined” to accomplish the goals and do the work that she set out to do from the very beginning.

“It’s all about all of the work that we need to do right now — about building on the foundation of the movement, the coalition that we built, every corner of this district that we touched, every neighborhood, every ethnicity,” Ramos said. “Making sure that we’re talking for the working class, fighting to make sure that the train works, that rent reform makes it possible for us to continue to make Queens a home, putting our children first. That’s the work that’s ahead.”

When asked what she would be doing for her campaign between now and the November general election, her response was “stay tuned.”


Before entering the senate race, Ramos served as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s aide from 2016 to 2017. Her job as director of Latino media was to inform the nearly 2 million Spanish-speaking individuals in New York about government initiatives and services.

In her celebratory speech, Ramos said that though she enjoyed her time working at City Hall with the mayor, she felt it was time for her to return to the district in which she was born and raised and do work for the people there.

“I was having a ball at City Hall, I was really enjoying my job. But sometimes it’s time to come home and make sure that your community is taken care of,” she said.

Ramos centered her campaign around being a “real Democrat” in response to Peralta’s former IDC status. The IDC were a group of Senate Democrats who broke away and caucused with the Republican party. Other IDC challengers unseated their opponents in the primary, including John Liu who beat out Queens District 11 Senator Tony Avella. In her victory speech, Ramos recognized the group “No IDC New York” for their work in helping her and others win against a “turncoat Democrat.”

In a statement, Peralta confirmed his support for Ramos and stated the importance of achieving a Democratic majority in the Senate.

“I’m committed to doing what I’ve always said I wanted to accomplish — achieving a working Democratic Majority in the New York State Senate, and just as important, a Democratic majority in Congress so that we can stand up to this White House,” Peralta said. “If we want to move New York forward, all Democrats must work together. In that spirit, I will be supporting Ms. Ramos in the general election, and I will assist her in whatever capacity to ensure a smooth transition so that our constituents do not go without the vital services they depend on.”

The general elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 6, when Ramos will be running uncontested for the Senate seat.

Updated on Monday, Sept. 17, at 9:05 a.m. to reflect Senator Peralta’s comments.