On Ethnic Politics in Queens, Sabini Invokes Obama

Assemblyman Jose Peralta, a Latino lawmaker who once supported State Senator John Sabini, yesterday made the case for Sabini’s Puerto Rican challenger, Councilman Hiram Monserrate, in part because the district is becoming more Latino.

Sabini’s answer to that? Barack Obama.

When I asked Sabini, who is white, about how race is affecting the lead-up to the election, Sabini told me, “I don’t think anybody can say I am someone who hasn’t addressed a diverse district. And if it’s because of who I am, then that defeats Barack Obama’s or anybody else’s argument. I don’t believe you have to have a specific person of a specific ethnic group to represent any specific district.”

The Queens County Democratic organization is meeting Friday to decide who they will support. Sabini, who shared a campaign office with Queens County Democratic Leader and Representative Joe Crowley in 2004, said county support would be helpful, but if they endorse Monserrate it won’t be an “insurmountable” problem.

Sabini also described his relationship with Crowley as “cordial.”

On Ethnic Politics in Queens, Sabini Invokes Obama