Senator Monserrate running in Special Election!
Senator Monserrate already started to collect signatures on a petition to run in the special election on March 16, after a federal judge ruled on Friday it is up to the constituents in his 13th senatorial district to decide who should represent them.
The ruling came as a surprise to many since the State Assembly in 1987 wanted to oust Assemblywoman Lipschutz decided it could not do it because there was no provision in the State Constitution to permit it instead they opted to deprive her of senatorial amenities, causing her to resign.
Adding political drama is Assembly Member José Peralta, a Dominican, emerging as the front-runner candidate of the Queens Democratic Party Committee earlier in the year endorsing him to replace the Puerto Rican Senator Hiram Monserrate.
In 2006 then Council Member Monserrate came to only 200 votes short to unseat the 16-year incumbent, John Sabini for the senate after the same Democratic Party Committee in Queens casted their votes to endorse Monserrate instead of Sabini later appointed to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
Peralta called Monserrate a ” convicted domestic abuser” “unfit” to hold office for his conviction of reckless misdemeanor assault for pulling his girlfriend down the stairs of the apartment and out the door on December 18, 2008.
Although some may agree with Mr. Peralta’s view on this matter , the scandals and the corruption cases emerging with other elected officials in New York State government recently makes one question why a different set of standards and a process for expulsion when one does not constitutionally exist applied on a Hispanic member of the Senate at this time.
Peralta voted for the legislation allowing for same-sex marriages, something Monserrate rejected causing members of the gay community in his district to protest in front of his office in Queens.
Nevertheless, the demographics show the Puerto Rican population in the 13th Senatorial District is larger than the Dominican, this election pitting one community against the other in one of the most significant election periods because of the redistricting after the 2010 census count of the population.
Although convicted for reckless misdemeanor assault on his girlfriend , it called into question his character whether he should continue as senator absent a conviction for the more serious charge of a felony, he had the right to stay in his seat until the november elections where Assemblyman Peralta could have challenged him instead of in a special election.
However, Senator Monserrate does not have the support of the gay community certainly an important constituent he ignored when he voted down the marriage equality Bill, causing him to lose some crucial votes and if he does succeed in winning back his seat, the Puerto Rican community must come out in full force along with other Hispanics, disagreeing with the process used to disenfranchise them in a critical election year.