It’s a rematch: City Councilman Francisco Moya (D-Corona) is again facing off against ex-lawmaker Hiram Monserrate for the 21st District seat. This time, however, Moya has nearly a term in the Council under his belt, while Monserrate is a Democratic district leader.
The first time around, the seat was open, Moya was an assemblyman and Monserrate had yet to win the voters’ blessing since being thrown out of the state Senate for attacking his girlfriend and serving time in prison for stealing taxpayer dollars back when he was in the Council.
Since then, Monserrate has been active in community issues and, he says, redeeming himself.
Reacting to a newly passed City Council bill that would bar him from office, Monserrate recently tweeted that his debt to society has been paid and that as a “returning citizen” he should be able to “exercise the full measure” of his American citizenry [see separate story in some editions or at qchron.com].
Moya, for his part, maintains the take on Monserrate he gave the Chronicle in 2017: “a violent, corrupt criminal actor with no business being anywhere near public service.”
If Monserrate can remain in the race, he and Moya will face off in a Democratic Party primary June 22. The winner will go on to the Nov. 2 general election, taking on any Republican or third-party candidates. The district runs through East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona.
Monserrate has a campaign website that introduces him as “A Husband, Son, Father, & Brother dedicated to advocating for our community.” It features a timeline showing his service as a U.S. Marine, NYPD officer, city councilman, delegate to the 2008 Democratic presidential convention, state senator and district leader. The latter comes after what is described as “a political hiatus.”
Monserrate says he is on a mission to make sure the community’s voice is heard, saying, among other things, that shelters are being concentrated in the district, the AirTrain to LGA will cut through it while providing little value, a soccer stadium is planned for Willets Point and gentrification is coming to Corona.
“Special interests and political grandstanding have walked all over our community,” he says. “I’m here to put an end to that.”
The site touts Monserrate’s accomplishments in the past on a variety of community concerns.
Moya has yet to set up a campaign website, but on social media and in draft campaign literature provided to the Chronicle he focuses on his response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As Our Council Member, Francisco has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to stand up for our frontline workers, support our students and seniors, and get the resources we need to overcome this crisis,” reads the draft campaign literature, a palm card.
On Facebook, a typical post shows him helping distribute food for the needy.
“Another Saturday at First Baptist Church in East Elmhurst making sure our community has food for their families,” it says. “Thank you Pastor Young and the team at First Baptist Church, and all the volunteers including the NYPD 115th Precinct explorers and [neighborhood coordination officers].