Former New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate, who was expelled from the Senate after being convicted of assaulting and slashing his girlfriend, lost the bid to regain his seat to Assemblyman José R. Peralta in the Queens, New York special election. The election had been marked by anti-gay rhetoric from Monserrate and his supporters.
"The election followed a fierce, if brief, campaign in which a debate over same-sex marriage, which Mr. Peralta favors and Mr. Monserrate opposes, often overshadowed discussions on issues that are vital to many of the largely Hispanic district’s working-class and immigrant residents, like affordable health care and school overcrowding. With 94 percent of the vote counted, unofficial returns from the overwhelmingly Democratic 13th State Senate District showed Mr. Peralta with 66 percent and Mr. Monserrate with 27 percent. The Republican candidate, Robert Beltrani, an administrative law judge, came in third with 7 percent."
After promising to support marriage equality, Monserrate became one of the eight shameful Senate "Democrats" who voted against it. Only days ago, Peralta, who supported marriage equality three times in the Assembly, said the special election would become a "litmus test" and he would be the first new vote toward passing a same-sex marriage bill in the Senate. Peralta told Gay City News: "The reason that I am running in this race and the reason I’m getting attacked left and right is because of the gay issue, "Peralta [said]. "State Senator George Onorato, another of the eight Democrats, has announced he will retire. That is going to be vote number two. If we’re successful in taking out Frank Padavan, that is vote number three."
Labor unions, the Queens Democratic Party and gay voters all united behind Peralta, writes Gay City News. Peralta also benefited from support by Fight Back New York, the political action committee established to target Monserrate and other New York state senators opposed to marriage equality. More on the LGBT gay community's role in Peralta's victory at Gay City News ...