Hiram Monserrate Heckled at Debate; Jose Peralta Has Big Lead

monserratenewright.jpgThere was a debate last night in preparation for Tuesday's special election to fill Hiram Monserrate's state senate seat, from which the convicted abuser was ejected last month.

Democrat Jose Peralta and Republican Robert Beltrani were there, but Monserrate, running hard to replace himself, was the center of attention; the Daily News reports Monserrate was booed and heckled and, each time he referred to "cuts," some smartass drew lines on his own face with lipstick, indicative of Karla Giraldo's slash marks.

Monserrate and Peralta seemed not far apart on issues except for gay marriage -- opposition to which is Monserrate's key strategy -- and Hiram Monserrate, whose arrest and conviction WNYC says Peralta "kept bringing up," as per his key strategy.

(Earlier, in response to Monserrate's charges elsewhere that Peralta, a Queens assemblyman, has no record to run on, Peralta replied, "I will be more than happy to match my legislative record of protecting women's right to privacy in the workplace to Monserrate's record of assaulting his girlfriend in his bedroom.")

Peralta is shown to have a large lead in a Siena poll, 60 to 15 percent. (Interestingly, voters polled in the district are evenly divided on gay marriage.)

Perlata has been endorsed by the Queens Courier ("Jose Peralta was everywhere, fighting against domestic violence... Monserrate was fighting different battles") and several Democratic groups, including the Queens party organization.

Beltrani, largely ignored in the very Democratic district, is running as a straight-up conservative, against abortion, gay marriage, government spending, etc. So far, despite the exhortations of local GOP activists, no tea party has come to his assistance.

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