Voters Cast Ballots in Special Election for Monserrate's Seat

Monserrate's girlfiend appears in a video to encourage voters to take him back

By Hasani Gittens
|  Monday, Apr 5, 2010  |  Updated 10:36 PM EDT
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Voters in Queens are choosing a state senator to fill Hiram Monserrate's shoes: and could be Hiram, himself.

Monserrate was expelled by his Senate colleagues after he was convicted of misdemeanor assault of his girlfriend.   He denied the charges.

Monserrate, a registered Democrat, is running as an independent as he tries to earn back his old seat. He's co-opted the "Yes We Can" line -- a slogan that worked well for candidate Barack Obama last year.

Assemblyman Jose Peralta is on the Democratic line in northern Queens's 13th Senatorial district. The Republican candidate is Robert Beltrani.

Peralta, who cast his ballot this morning, was up 45 points over Monserrate in a recent Siena College poll. 

However, special elections are notoriously difficult to predict because of expected low turnout. Peralta said his campaign was focused on getting people to vote Tuesday.

Perhaps Monseratte's biggest fan is his girlfriend Karla Giraldo -- the woman he was accused of attacking. She appears in a YouTube video to encourage voters to elect her ousted-boyfriend.


 


Monserrate petitioned to be allowed back on the ballot for the special election.  If he is re-elected he will legally retake his seat.  He has also filed a lawsuit claiming his original ouster wasn't constitutional.

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