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Peralta Faces Another Challenger for Senate Seat, Contender Calls Him a ‘Turncoat’

Andrea Marra

Feb. 8, 2018 By Tara Law

Jose Peralta faces yet another contender for his State Senate seat.

Andrea Marra, a longtime LGBTQ activist, announced Tuesday that she will run to represent Senate District 13, which covers Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona, East Elmhurst, Woodside and part of Astoria.

She will be taking on Jose Peralta and Jessica Ramos, who announced last week, in a primary scheduled for Sept. 11. Marra, if elected, would become the first Asian American and first transgender in the State Senate.

Marra was adopted as an infant from South Korea and has lived in Jackson Heights since 2009. She has worked for organizations such as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and was the co-director of a progressive Korean community organization. She currently works for the Arcus Foundation, a foundation focused on LGBT rights and social justice issues.

Like Ramos, Marra contends that Peralta has compromised his values as a Democrat by aligning himself with the Republicans.

Peralta is a member of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a coalition of break-away Democrats, who have joined forces with the Republicans to form a majority. Although Democrats hold more seats in the Senate, the Republicans’ coalition with the IDC has given them effective control.

Peralta argues that he has maintained his progressive values, and his affiliation with the IDC has helped him get more bills passed and bring greater resources to the district.

“At a time when New York is grappling to maintain its quality of life, Peralta has chosen to align himself with the Republican agenda at the expense of the people he was elected to serve,” Marra said. “I am running to break this stranglehold in Albany and directly tackle the issues that matter most to the working and middle class.”

Marra is running on a platform of protecting and expanding affordable housing; modernizing the MTA; increasing school funding; and investing in the city’s public hospitals, including Elmhurst Hospital.

She has raised nearly $50,000 for her run. That compares to Peralta’s $160,000 and Ramos’ $30,000.

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