June 19, 2018 By Christian Murray
The candidates vying to represent the Jackson Heights region as Democrats—whether it be in the State Assembly, State Senate or Congress–will be facing off at a debate this Thursday.
The key candidates running to represent the party for Assembly District 39 and Senate District 13 have confirmed their attendance. Meanwhile in the race to represent the party for Congressional District 14, candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a representative of incumbent Joseph Crowley will be participating. Crowley will be in Washington.
The event is scheduled to take place at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights at 37-06 77th Street at 7 p.m.
Catalina Cruz and incumbent Aridia Espinal are the main candidates doing battle for the Assembly District 39 seat, which covers parts of Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona.
The seat was previously held by Francisco Moya, who served in the position for seven years before being elected to the city council to represent the 21st Council District.
Moya’s position was assumed by Espinal after Democratic District Leaders selected her to represent the party in a special election April 24. Primaries are not permitted for special elections.
Espinal, who was a former aide to Moya, will face Catalina Cruz, the former chief of state to Julissa Ferreras Copeland, who held the council seat prior to Moya. The primary for state races is scheduled for Sept. 13
Meanwhile, Incumbent Jose Peralta will be facing off with Jessica Ramos as they vie for to represent the part for Senate District 13.
Ramos, a former City Hall staffer, argues that she is a ‘Real Democrat’ and questions Peralta’s loyalty to the party and its values.
Peralta joined the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) last year, a group of eight Democrats who aligned themselves with senate Republicans. That group disbanded earlier this year and returned to the Democratic fold in a deal.
Peralta defended his decision when he joined the IDC in January 2017, claiming that he would be able to bring greater resources to the district and pass more legislation via the IDC’s alliance with the Republicans, who control the senate.
The Congressional primary is to be held on June 26.
UPDATE, 06/20/18 3:10 pm: Congressman Joseph Crowley is now scheduled to be in attendance