Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Peralta looking to run for Queens BP? El Diario La Prensa

Peralta looking to run for Queens BP?

Roberto Perez | 2011-11-09 | El Diario NY

The political maneuvering has already begun, for the elections of 2013. And rumor's are beginning to circulate that state Sen. Jose Peralta has been quietly exploring a run for Queens borough president.

My sources tell me that Peralta, has been motivated by positive conversations with the business community, and is aiming to increase his campaign war chest from $ 80,000 to $ 100,000 by the end of January.

If Peralta decides to run he would face two strong opponents, in councilman Peter Vallone Jr. Chair of the public safety committee and, son of the former speaker of the city council, who has already amassed more than a million dollars and can count on an excellent relationship with the firefighters and police unions, and Deputy Majority Leader of the council and chair of the influential Land Use Committee, Councilman Leroy Comrie, who has close ties with the Queens Democratic Party.

Looking at both opponents, it is not unreasonable to think that Peralta has a chance in this election.

Despite his strong financial standing, the love-hate relationship the Vallone family has had with the Queens Democratic Party throughout the years, could undermine Vallone's candidacy. Moreover, his unconditional support of the NYPD, and stop and frisk, may hurt him with minority voters, which is crucial in a county that is 27.5% Latino, and 19.1% African American.

Comrie on the other hand, only shows $ 6.831 in his campaign account. Although Comrie could say, that his assets lie in the voter rich southeast Queens area which he counts as his base, and therefore does not need a large sum of money, but his precarious electoral piggy bank, can also be interpreted as a sign that he can not motivate donors, and that's an argument that Peralta can use when asking for the support of the party leaders.

Peralta also has a long and strong relationship with the unions, which is crucial for success in this race. Finally, in the last election the party supported an African American candidate, in Helen Marshall, Peralta could make the case that, in the interest of promoting diversity in the county, this time they should support a Latino. We'll see what happens.