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Queens Chronicle

Jose Peralta drops out of Queens borough president race

Remaining Dems are Katz, Comrie, Avella and Vallone

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Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 1:39 pm | Updated: 2:11 pm, Fri May 31, 2013.

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) quit the race for Queens borough president on Friday.

The move follows by 11 days the Queens County Democratic Organization's endorsement of Melinda Katz, a former city councilwoman, for the job.

"In the best interests of my campaign, my family and the Queens Democratic party, I am ending my bid for borough president effective immediately and will be supporting Melinda Katz," Peralta said in a prepared statement.

Barry Grodenchik, the deputy to outgoing Borough President Helen Marshall, also dropped his bid for the job after the county committee announced its endorsement of Katz. Still in the running against Katz are state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), City Councilmen Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) and Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria). 

The winner will face Republican candidate Tony Arcabascio of Astoria.

Peralta was among those elected officials recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation having conversations with disgraced ex-state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica), who recently pleaded guilty to both state and federal corruption charges. But last month, shortly after the government released the names of those officials it had recorded, Peralta put out a statement assuring his constituents that the FBI told him he was not being investigated for any wrongdoing.

In Friday's statement, the senator, said,"I want to thank the thousands of Queens residents and civic and community leaders that I had the pleasure of meeting during the course of the campaign. Your warm reception of my candidacy and your encouragement and support are enormously appreciated.   

“I want to assure you that, though I am discontinuing my campaign, I will continue my fight for affordable housing, tougher gun laws and more classroom seats to alleviate overcrowding in our schools. I will also continue to promote ideas and develop legislation to help spur economic development and grow jobs.”

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