State Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Francisco Moya, two Democrats from overlapping western Queens districts, announced today they are supporting Barry Grodenchik’s campaign to replace former Councilman Mark Weprin.
The endorsements come as little surprise–the Queens Democratic Party backed Mr. Grodenchik, a former assemblyman, and most elected officials in the eastern Queens district have endorsed him. The pols from Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights are more like icing on the cake.
“Senator Peralta and Assemblyman Moya always have our backs in Albany, and I’m proud to have their support,” Mr. Grodenchik said in a statement to the Observer. “I’m greatly looking forward to working with both of them moving forward, and know that together we could make a difference in both the Capitol and City Hall.”
Mr. Peralta and Mr. Moya represent Spanish-speaking districts to the west of the area Mr. Grodenchik is running in. But Mr. Weprin’s old district has one of the most diverse electorates in the city and Mr. Grodenchik, a white candidate, is trying to knit together a multi-ethnic coalition. He boasts the support of a prominent black former congressman in Southeast Queens, Rev. Floyd Flake, and touted female endorsements from Democrats like Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan.
There is no clear front-runner in the Democratic primary, even with the political establishment lining up behind Mr. Grodenchik. Many observers see Rebecca Lynch, a former City Hall staffer running with the backing of the left-leaning Working Families Party, as Mr. Grodenchik’s top rival. A host of liberal elected officials and labor unions are in Ms. Lynch’s corner.
Mr. Grodenchik has said he would try to bring more resources for parks, schools and libraries in the area. Ms. Lynch has called for a new school to alleviate overcrowding.
But the two are not alone in the crowded field. Attorney Ali Najmi, former Council and Assembly candidate Bob Friedrich and civic leader Satnam Singh Parhar are running aggressive campaigns. Another Democrat, Celia Dosamantes, has yet to file with the Campaign Finance Board as of Friday morning.
The Democratic primary will be held September 10.