By a margin of 206 votes, labor activist Jose Peralta won a state Assembly seat over fellow newcomer Francisco Moya in a brand-new Queens district that includes Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurst.
But a spokesperson from Moya’s campaign told City Limits just before deadline Friday that he’s not ready to concede, alleging that the vote counts are incomplete. Spokesperson Danica Gallagher says that nine voting machines are missing and two machines were broken into after voting ended. With emergency and absentee ballots to be counted on Tuesday, Moya’s camp isn’t giving up.
Peralta’s campaign is confident any recounts will confirm their win. A native of the Dominican Republic, Peralta would be the first Hispanic Assemblyman from Queens. He most recently served as director of the Commission on Dignity of Immigrants at the New York City Central Labor Council.
Former City Councilmember Noach Dear’s campaign to return to elected office as a State Senator for the 21st district collapsed in Flatbush on Tuesday when he lost a close Democratic primary by about a thousand votes to former Carl McCall aide Kevin Parker, 35 percent to 29 percent.
The Senate seat Dear sought was recently redrawn to include East Flatbush, Flatbush, Midwood and a portion of Borough Park, with a population that’s roughly 60 percent black. Dear’s supporters are primarily Jewish.
But it wasn’t just the numbers that led to Dear’s downfall. Persistent rumors that members of the Republican controlled State Senate offered Dear a deal to flip-flop his party alliance may have led the area’s Democratic voters to Parker.
The race may not be over yet: Dear has the Conservative Party line for the November election. Dear’s campaign manager, John McLaughlin, says there has not yet been a formal decision about whether he will actively campaign: “When one door closes, another opens…[Dear] feels confident he’ll find his place very soon.”
In Williamsburg, 10-year City Council veteran Martin Malave-Dilan overthrew State Senate incumbent Nellie Santiago with 51 percent of the vote.
Santiago had served in the Senate for a decade, and ran with the support of the Brooklyn Democratic organization. Her career has had its share of bumps. Days before she was elected to the legislature in 1992, the state Department of Social Services forced her to resign as administrator of a Brooklyn adult home owned and operated by her husband, Benito Fernandez, due to allegations ranging from inappropriate handling of prescription drugs to poor security.
Malave-Dilan and his supporters credit their victory to the backing of local leaders like state Assemblymember Vito Lopez and City Councilmember Diana Reyna. They sought to convince voters that Santiago had little neighborhood presence, rarely appearing at community meetings or even in her district office. Santiago did not return calls seeking comment.