June 28, 2018 By Christian Murray
Two days after the Queens Democratic machine was dealt a severe blow with the toppling of Rep. Joseph Crowley, Council Speaker Corey Johnson has endorsed Jessica Ramos for state senate.
The announcement comes about a month after the Queens County Democratic Party, chaired by Crowley, backed incumbent State Sen. Jose Peralta—as opposed to Ramos– to represent Democrats for the 13th Senate District that covers Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona, East Elmhurst and Woodside.
The Queens County Democratic Party backed Peralta despite heavy criticism from some party members at the time. Many claimed Peralta had been disloyal to the party by joining the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a group of eight break-away Democrats who aligned themselves with senate Republicans.
The IDC agreed to unify with the mainstream Democratic party in April and since then Peralta and the other other seven members have been backed by most of the leading Democrats.
Despite Crowley and the Queens County Democrats playing a major role in Johnson’s rise to be speaker, Johnson is backing Ramos. The announcement comes in the wake of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ stunning defeat of Crowley in the 14th District primary.
Johnson is also backing three other progressive Democrats who are running for senate seats currently held by incumbents who were part of the IDC. He is backing Robert Jackson in Manhattan; Zellnor Myrie in Brooklyn; and Alessandra Biaggi in the Bronx.
The party was expected to endorse former IDC members, part of the deal to bring them back into the fold.
“We can all agree that we are living in a time when people are hungry for change from our leaders, whether in Washington D.C. or in Albany,” Johnson said in a statement. “I am proud to endorse these four inspiring, exciting, hard-working grassroots candidates for State Senate.”
Johnson told the New York Post that his decision to back these candidates had nothing to do with the weakening of he Queens machine.
Ramos issued a statement after Johnson announced the endorsement. “I am thrilled to be able to count on the support of the Speaker of the City of New York,” she said. “I look forward to campaigning alongside Speaker Johnson on the campaign trail.”
Ramos has already been endorsed by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and City Council members Costa Constantinides and Jimmy Van Bramer.