Hiram Monserrate, who was expelled last month from the New York State Senate after being convicted of a misdemeanor assault against his girlfriend, lost his bid to regain his seat last night. José R. Peralta won the special election in a landslide, with 66 percent of the vote compared to Monserrate’s 27 percent.
The political issue that received the most attention in this special election was the divisive topic of same-sex marriage, which Peralta supports and Monserrate opposes. Monserrate tried to create a David-and-Goliath narrative for his campaign, painting himself as the political outsider oppressed by entrenched power in Albany. As opposed to a former elected official who lost his seat because he was convicted of brutally assaulting his girlfriend.
Monserrate’s campaign seemed like a long shot. But special elections, with their typical low voter turn outs, can lead to surprising results (Scott Brown in Massachusetts anyone?). Turn out was apparently high for a special election, and thankfully voters kept Monserrate out of office.