Crooked domestic abuser Monserrate sees City Council hopes dashed

Convicted felon and disgraced former Queens politician Hiram Monserrate lost his comeback bid for a seat on the City Council Tuesday as voters in his working class Corona district couldn’t look past his sordid history of corruption and domestic abuse.

Monserrate was beaten by Assemblyman Francisco Moya after a mud-spattered campaign that included the National Organization for Women standing on the steps of City Hall urging voters to reject a man convicted of assaulting an ex-girlfriend.

With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, Moya had 56% of the vote.

At a packed victory party in a pizza restaurant on 104th St. in the heart of Corona Tuesday night, Moya supporters cheered and waved signs as he gave a victory speech noting Monserrate’s attacks during the campaign taunting him for living with his parents.

“We endured a tough campaign, one that made it very difficult for my father and my mother. It was a nasty campaign,” Moya said to the cheering crowd. “Honesty and integrity won tonight.”

Monserrate was expelled from the state Senate in 2010 over charges he slashed his girlfriend’s face with a glass. He later pled guilty to a scheme to siphon taxpayer cash into his campaigns and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Moya — who beat Monserrate in an earlier race for Assembly — was endorsed by Mayor de Blasio, Gov. Cuomo and civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, and all seven City Council candidates currently running for speaker of the council. He was also backed by the district’s current Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, who opted not to run for re-election.

The slugfest between Moya and Monserrate was the highest profile race in a primary season that also saw seven seats on the Council open up because of term limits, and a raft of state legislators make runs for higher-paid city posts.

Female lawmakers also worried their already diminished ranks would further shrink, since a majority of Council members facing term limits were women.

The primary victors will face voters again in November’s general election, but in most of the district’s the Democratic nominee is overwhelmingly favored. The current Council has 47 Democrats and just three Republicans.

In competitive races across the city:

-In East Harlem and the south Bronx, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito aggressively pushed her aide Diana Ayala as her successor, but she faced stiff competition from Bronx Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez. The race was too close to call Tuesday night.

-State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. — a firebrand social conservative known for his opposition to gay marriage — won the primary for an open seat in the Soundview section of the Bronx over City Council staffer Amanda Farias and former de Blasio aide Elvin Garcia.

Monserrate was beaten by Assemblyman Francisco Moya.

Monserrate was beaten by Assemblyman Francisco Moya.

(Erin Durkin / New York Daily News)

-Bronx Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, who shelled out more money than any Council candidate on record in his quest to take over the Throggs Neck and Pelham Bay seat being vacated by Jimmy Vacca, was locked in a too close to call race against district leader Marjorie Velazquez, who got Vacca’s backing.

-Carlina Rivera won the primary for her former boss Rosie Mendez’s seat in the East Village and Lower East Side, easily defeating a field of rivals.

-On the upper East Side, former lobbyist and state legislative staffer Keith Powers won over a crowded field to replace term-limited Councilman Dan Garodnick.

-In Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Justin Brannan ran for the Council seat being vacated by his former boss, Vincent Gentile, and defeated Rev. Khader El-Yateem, a Democratic socialist seeking to become the first Arab American on the Council. The district also saw a competitive Republican primary where Senate aide John Quaglione beat former Congressional staffer Liam McCabe and supermarket manager Bob Capano, which could pave the way for a heated contest in November.

– Alicka Ampry-Samuel, a former Assembly chief of staff, beat out Henry Butler, a community board district manager and Democratic club leader and the rest of a crowded field for the Brownsville, Brooklyn seat being vacated by Darlene Mealy.

-After ex-Queens Councilman Ruben Wills was booted from office when he was convicted on corruption charges, county party favorite Adrienne Adams jumped into the race to replace him. She scored a close win against community board member Richard David and attorney Hettie Powell.

-Kalman Yeger faced no competition in the Democratic primary in Borough Park, Brooklyn, because the timing of current Councilman David Greenfield’s decision not to run again allowed him to annoint his own successor. But he’ll face an independent bid by Yoni Hikind, the son of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, in November.

-Ronnie Cho, a former Obama White House staffer who attracted high profile support but on Monday had to backtrack from a claimed endorsement by Yankee great Derek Jeter, came in third — trailing Rivera and attorney Mary Silver.

No Council incumbents were knocked off as of 10:30 Tuesday night, but Councilwoman Margaret Chin led just 46% to 44% in a too close to call race against Christopher Marte.

Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo prevailed over Ede Fox, who rode a wave of anger over development and gentrification in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights — and the controversial Bedford Armory project -four years after losing to Cumbo in 2013, but fell short. Cumbo still faces a Green Party challenger in November.

In another rematch, upper West Side Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal defeated Mel Wymore, a community board member who was aiming to become the first transgender Council member.

Brooklyn Councilman Carlos Menchaca beat out Assemblyman Felix Ortiz and ex-Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, who was trying to reclaim her old Sunset Park seat. 

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