Peralta defeats Monserrate in Queens special election

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A New York state senator expelled after a domestic violence conviction lost a long-shot bid to regain his Queens seat in a special election last night.

With 81 percent of the precincts reporting, Assemb. Jose Peralta (D-Corona) beat Hiram Monserrate with 66 percent of the vote. Monserrate had 27 percent.

Local Democratic officials had endorsed Peralta, and he had been 45 percentage points ahead in a recent poll.

Peralta's victory restores Democrats' 32-seat majority in the upper chamber.

Republican candidate Robert Beltrani garnered 7 percent of the vote.

Monserrate, running on the independent "Yes, We Can" ballot line that he created, was overwhelmingly ousted, 53-8, from the Senate last month after a misdemeanor conviction for dragging his girlfriend through an apartment lobby in December 2008.

Though he failed to get his expulsion blocked in federal court, Monserrate got on the ballot to fill his old seat in the 13th district in Queens.

Monserrate has vowed to run for Peralta's Assembly seat in Queens.

Also Tuesday, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals explained in writing its Friday decision to reject Monserrate's attempt to get his seat back through a lawsuit.

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The court said even if Monserrate had won in court, he still would not have won reinstatement or been able to cancel the special election.

Monserrate has apologized for any discredit his conduct brought to the Senate. He said a cut on his girlfriend's face was an accident and that surveillance footage showed him taking her to the hospital.

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