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Assembly, State and Congressional Contenders To Debate in Jackson Heights Thursday

Jewish Center of Jackson Heights

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.

Meanwhile in the battle for the nomination for the 14th District Congressional seat, candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be debating a representative for incumbent Joseph Crowley.

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 

Candidates with asterisk have confirmed

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
M. Yznaga

The debate was held in the Jewish Center when it should have veen held in PS 69, which is located across the street and could have accomodated many more people. Many people were turned because of lack of space. It appears that Councilman Drumm and
Crowley did not want everyone to attend. Maybe because the Jewish Center recieves funding from the council member and who knows who else. That isvthe only reason that the event was held there when everyone knew it could not oossibky accomodate the numbers that would show up. It is a clear case of democrats blocking the people’s right to hearball the candidates. As for the power that democrats hold over the district there currently is nothing anyone can do. Do not stay home out of frustration. Come out and vote and let the politicals know you are not happy with their governance over the districts. Until people stop being afraid to speak their minds and stop following the crowd, we will continue to be represented by the sad group of politicians running our community. Get out and vote people and send a message of opposition tobthe same old same old politicals currently in office. Or vote with the crowd and stop complaining. Either way it is your right as an american. I for one am tired of politicals who do not address life and death issues such as housing, jobs, crime and real democracy in our community. The politicals at that debate for the most part spoke with forked tongues.
We are lising our community and letting it become gentrified by those who are not native to it. It is slowly reverting back into a haven of racism and class conscience bigots. That is what it was 50 years ago. Do we really want it to revert back in 2018.


Ok, the “debate” came and went. Does everyone feel better now?

Does anyone (Leslie) want to bet against Cuomo, Crowley, and Peralta all winning in November? I’ll even give you odds.

The only hope for change is to vote outside of the democrat party in November. But in this city of sheep, I will not hold my breath.


Congressman Crowley has ducked every debate with his opponent but one. What is the point of sending a ‘spokesperson’? He or she is not running for re-election. The Congressman ‘has votes in Washington’? I believe there are planes and trains that could bring him back and forth quickly. What a coward and what disrespect for his constituents to not show up.


Don’t bother, stay home. You can bet the house that the place will be filed with inside Dem Party machine hacks. This primary “election” has been decided a while ago. Cuomo, Crowley, and Peralta have already won.

The only hope for change is to vote outside of the democrat party in November. But in this city of sheep, I will not hold my breath.


Don’t stay home. The machine wins that way. Show up. Stand up. Crowley has actually had to spend some of that corporate money he’s taken on this run. Cuomo won’t be there. He wouldn’t want to be caught on the same panel as Nixon. And Ramos, she has a real shot. So DON’T stay home


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