After more than three decades of public service, Queens Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of his term next year and is endorsing Democratic District Leader Larinda Hooks as his successor.
Aubry, 75, was first sent to Albany in a 1992 special election to represent East Elmhurst, LeFrak City and parts of Corona, Woodside, Elmhurst and Rego Park in Assembly District 35. The longtime speaker pro tempore and former chair of the Correction Committee used his position to sponsor and pass numerous pieces of legislation designed to improve the criminal justice system.
Aubry passed the torch to Hooks, who said she would be the best candidate to build a broad, diverse coalition to once again defeat perennial candidate and fellow Democratic District Leader Hiram Monserrate for Aubry’s seat.
“Larinda has been a leader and vocal advocate on issues impacting our youth, our seniors, and our quality-of-life for decades,” Aubry said. “I’ve worked closely with her to deliver for our communities and I can promise you that she is the most honest, experienced, and qualified candidate in this race. She is the only Democrat I trust to fight for our values, unite our diverse communities, and deliver for working families.”
Hooks currently serves as director of Senior Services and Economic Development of Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities, Inc. She is the former president of the East Elmhurst-Corona Civic Association and also served as the deputy director of the Flushing Meadows Soap Box Derby.
“This community raised me, our public schools educated me and I’ve dedicated my life and career to making our neighborhoods safer and stronger so all our families can succeed and thrive,” Hooks said. “I’m running for state Assembly to continue that fight and I’m ready to deliver on the quality-of-life issues impacting our communities from day one.”
Monserrate has been on a year-long redemption tour after he was expelled from the state Senate in 2010 after being charged with misdemeanor assault involving a former girlfriend. He later pleaded guilty to felony mail fraud charges tied to his earlier stint as a City Council member.
Monserrate came up short in two challenges against Aubry in 2020 and 2022, but he has built political power in the community through his East Elmhurst Corona Democratic Club winning election to District Leader in 2018 and re-election twice in 2020 and 2022.
On Wednesday, Monserrate told QNS he is mulling another run for Aubry’s soon-to-be vacated seat.
“We’re going to be making an announcement at some point in the future; not today, but soon,” Monserrate said. “The one thing I want to make very clear is that we want to thank Assemblyman Aubry for his many, many years of public service and we wish him well for the holidays and all his future endeavors.”
Hooks believes she is better suited to succeed Aubry after decades of community organizing and civic rights advocacy.
“We deserve an assembly member who knows how to unite our diverse communities, build coalitions, work collaboratively, and deliver the resources we need and deserve,” Hooks said. “That’s why I’m running for Assembly and I’m excited to share my vision and values with local residents in the coming months.”