Monserrate runs for office again

Then state Sen. Hiram Monserrate leaving Manhattan Federal Court in February of 2010.
Then state Sen. Hiram Monserrate leaving Manhattan Federal Court in February of 2010.
Mary Altaffer/AP/Shutterstock
Then state Sen. Hiram Monserrate leaving Manhattan Federal Court in February of 2010.

Monserrate runs for office again

The twice-disgraced former lawmaker has failed in his last two bids.
August 13, 2018

Hiram Monserrate, who was booted from the state Senate after physically assaulting his girlfriend and later served prison time for misusing city funds, is running for public office once again.

The Queens Democrat is on the primary ballot this year to represent East Elmhurst as a Democratic district leader. He’s up against George Dixon, the current district leader whom beat Monserrate by just 57 votes for the seat in 2016. Monserrate also lost his 2017 bid to retake the New York City Council seat he once held. Now-City Councilman Francisco Moya won easily, thanks in part to an outpouring of support from women’s groups and elected officials opposed to Monserrate’s candidacy.

“On top of all of the domestic violence, and corruption and legal issues, he was a terrible council member,” former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said at the time.

Monserrate may not get the same opposition for his run for district leader, an unpaid, low-level position. There are 72 Democratic district leaders in Queens – two males and two females per Assembly district – and their main role in Queens has been to re-elect Rep. Joe Crowley every two years to lead the county party.

Reached by phone Monday evening, Monserrate told City & State he was running because the community needed strong advocacy, especially with the LaGuardia Airtrain planned to run through the neighborhood. (He’s ardently opposed.) Monserrate said it was wrong to just focus on his crimes. “I have made my mistakes,” he said. “I’ve paid for them. And I have moved on. They’re in my rearview mirror.”

Voters have continuously rejected Monserrate, however. In addition to his 2016 and 2017 losses, he also lost an independent bid to win back the state Senate seat from which he was expelled in 2010. Later that year, he ran for Assembly and lost in the primary.

Jeff Coltin
is a staff reporter at City & State. He covers New York City Hall.
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