Cruz to Take on Espinal in April Election – a ‘Rarity’

Ari Espinal and Catalina Cruz are set to give voters in Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights a choice on Special Election Day. (Photo courtesy of Friends of Ari Espinal/Catalina Cruz for Assembly via City Limits)

Ahead of the April 24 special election to fill 11 vacant state legislative seats, the race for the Assembly seat in district 39 will be an unusual one – in that it will be an actual race. In a city where many general election races go uncontested, including district 39 for the past 12 years, having more than one candidate in a special election race is indeed a rare event, as Jonelle Carrera describes it in a story for City Limits.

The seat, which represents Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights in Queens, was left empty after Francisco Moya successfully won his bid for the City Council in November. Democratic district leaders have selected his former aide, Aridia “Ari” Espinal, as their nominee in the race. Moya has also endorsed her.

She will most likely face Catalina Cruz, the former chief of staff to Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Council member Moya’s predecessor. The winner will serve through December when the current legislative term ends. Voters will choose their Assembly representative for the new term on Election Day in November.

Carrera takes a look at how this “rarity” of a contested race reflects some major issues in city politics – the challenges of getting onto the ballot and running for office, as well as the dismal turnout for primary elections. Read more on this, and the candidates, at City Limits.

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