Aug. 13, 2018 By Tara Law (Updated 5 p.m.)
Mayor Bill de Blasio has endorsed his former aide, Jessica Ramos, over Democratic incumbent Jose Peralta in the New York State Senate primary race.
Ramos is campaigning to represent the Democrats in District 13, which encompasses Jackson Heights, Corona, East Elmhurst and part of Ditmars Steinway, Astoria and Woodside.
In endorsing Ramos, de Blasio cited her commitment to pursuing rent reform, securing public school funding and pursuing the DREAM Act.
Ramos previously worked for the mayor as the director of Latino media for New York City.
De Blasio, in a statement, called Ramos a “tireless advocate for her community” and praised her for working with him to reach New York’s Latino community.
“In City Hall, Jessica worked with me to expand access to resources for Latino communities, and I know in Albany she’ll be a strong partner that advocates for our city’s diverse communities,” de Blasio said.
In his endorsement, De Blasio emphasized that Ramos is a “true” progressive Democrat, taking a shot at Peralta for joining forces with the Republicans last year.
Peralta, who has represented the district since 2010, has been under fire since January 2017 when he joined a breakaway group of Democratic senators known as the Independent Democratic Conference. The coalition was made up of eight Democrats who chose to align themselves with senate Republicans.
The coalition ended in April as political pressure mounted for its members to rejoin the party. Democratic heads–such as Congressman Joseph Crowley– lured IDC members back by promising to support them in the Democratic primaries.
But de Blasio has turned his back on that deal and is supporting Ramos.
“Jessica will help give New York a true Democratic majority in the Senate and ensure vital progress in Albany— from real rent reform to public school funding to the DREAM Act,” de Blasio said.
Ramos said that she was proud to accept de Blasio’s endorsement and emphasized the importance of assuring a “true democratic majority in the State Senate.”
“During my time in City Hall, I saw firsthand how many progressive policies were blocked by Republican leadership in Albany,” Ramos said.
“I look forward to partnering with his administration to deliver for working families in Queens and across the state.”
After learning of de Blasio’s decision, Peralta released a statement to the Queens Post.
“Mayor de Blasio has been a strong supporter of many of Senator Peralta’s policies, including most recently speed cameras. We can’t speak to the motivation behind his political machinations,” a spokesperson for Peralta’s campaign said.
The primary is scheduled for Sept. 13.