Peralta wins special election in convincing fashion
by Shane Miller
Mar 17, 2010 | 1363 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jose Peralta cruised to a victory over challengers Hiram Monserrate and Robert Beltrani in a special election Tuesday to fill the State Senate seat in the 13th District, which includes Jackson Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods (map).

With 94 percent of the precincts reporting, Peralta had 66 percent of the vote, while Monserrate at 27 percent and Beltrani seven percent.

The seat became open after Monserrate was expelled from the State Senate by his colleagues after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault for slashing his girlfriend across the face with a glass in 2008. Monserrate has maintained that the episode was an accident, and the woman involved, Karla Giraldo, even filmed a short video in support of re-electing Monserrate that was posted on YouTube.

The campaign was fierce, with Peralta and Monserrate, once strong political allies - Peralta represented a portion of the district in the Assembly for approximately the past decade until last night's election - trading stinging barbs over character. Gay marriage also became a big issue in the election; Peralta is in favor of gay marriage while Monserrate opposes it.

The turnout was unusually high for this special election, which worked in the favor of Peralta, who had strong support from the Democratic Party and several influential unions.

Monserrate, meanwhile, ran a bare-bones campaign with an unpaid staff. He has not ruled out a future run for public office, which could include running for the Peralta's old Assembly seat, which is now open

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