Peralta vs. Ramos in Queens

(Photos via Queens Tribune)

Two former friends are squaring off in the race for the New York State Senate seat in the 13th District in Queens, and both express surprise and a sense of betrayal over the other’s actions, reports Ariel Hernandez in Queens Tribune.

Jessica Ramos, former director of ethnic media at the Mayor’s Office, is running against incumbent Jose Peralta, whose membership in the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), which had allied with Republicans in the statehouse, troubled her. (The IDC has since disbanded.)

“I believed in Peralta just like everyone else did,” said Ramos. “My parents even helped him get elected back when he first ran. When he announced that he was joining the IDC, I was baffled.”

Ramos said that she attended Peralta’s “infamous town hall” following his IDC announcement, and that she couldn’t stop shaking her head the entire time.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Ramos. “I was stunned. I mean, how could you betray your people like that?”

For his part, Peralta “couldn’t believe it” when he first heard rumors that Ramos was running, writes Hernandez in Queens Tribune. He defends having joined the IDC.

Peralta said that although there are still people who are upset with his decision to join the IDC, they understand when he explains to them why he made that decision. He said that people’s not trusting him is just a narrative.

“People have seen what I’ve been able to deliver. They have seen my track record and they know I made that decision for them,” said Peralta. “I’m proud of bringing resources back to my district, even if it was by being in the IDC. I’ve always been true to my Democratic values.”

This isn’t the only race in NYC where one candidate’s membership in the IDC is a matter of controversy. Beyond that issue, though, the candidates discussed their positions with Queens Tribune. Peralta says that after he’s re-elected, his “main priority” will be the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act, a bill that would grant legal status to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and attended school there. Ramos says her first priority is to make the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) an agency. Read more from both candidates at Queens Tribune.

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