Cruz Beats Espinal In Assembly Race

    DREAMer Catalina Cruz, who worked her way through college and law school, last night defeated incumbent Assemblywoman Ari Espinal in the 39th Assembly District race.

    Catalina Cruz

    According to preliminary Board of Election figures, Cruz received 3,736 votes or 53.43 percent to Espinal’s 3,016 or 43.14 percent of the vote. Rounding out the three-person race was Yonel Letellier Sosa, who had a little more than three percent of the vote.

    “Thank you for helping when people threatened you, threatened to defund you, threatened to shun you,” Cruz said to the volunteers and activists who helped her during her victory speech at Club Evolution in Jackson Heights.

    Cruz came to Queens at nine from Colombia and became a citizen in 2009. She was raised by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to make ends meet

    Prior to her running for the seat, Cruz worked as an attorney representing immigrants who face deportation and served as chief of staff to former City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. Both Ferreras-Copeland and former City Councvil Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito supported her campiagn.

    Cruz made a big part of her campaign about protecting immigrant rights. This included proposing driver’s licenses for every immigrant to help undocumented immigrants. She also favors making New York a sanctuary state, which would ensure all Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are denied the ability to detain immigrants.

    The district includes Corona, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst.

    Liu Comeback To Public Service Begins With Win Over Avella

    Former City Comptroller and City Council Member John Liu, yesterday narrowly beat incumbent State Sen. Toney Avella to win the Democratic Primary in the 11th Senate District.

    John Liu

    According to preliminary Board of Election figures, Liu received 12,133 votes or 52.6 percent of the electorate to Avella’s 10,846 botes or 47 percent of the electorate.

    It was a rematch from the 2014 primary, which Avella narrowly won, but with voter sentiment turning against all former Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) Senate members, of which Avella was a member, seemed to turn the tide in Liu’s favor.

    “I think people are upset about what is happening in this country. Trump getting into the White House has woken people up about the sad state of affairs in New York state, particularly with this IDC collusion with Republicans blocking the legislation that people in New York state want,” Liu told reporters on election day.

    Liu will face Republican Vickie Paladino in the Nov. 6 general election as Paladino defeated Simon Minching in the GOP primary.

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