Senate District 13 - General Election


Endorsed Candidate


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Jose Peralta's Candidate Questionnaire


Age: 38  Occupation: Senator, NYS Senate

Education: Queens College (BA)

Campaign website:

Jose Peralta is running for re-election, having served in the Senate since March 2010 after winning a special election after the ouster of Hiram Monserrate from the State Senate.  He stated that he began his work to reform the State Senate through his decisive defeat of Hiram Monserrate in the special election.  Peralta previously served in the New York State Assembly after being first elected in 2002.  Prior to public office, he served as the Director of the Commission on the Dignity for Immigrants at the New York City Labor Council, representing over 1.5 million union members.  His primary areas of concern for his district are quality of life, education and affordable health care.  Peralta believes he has worked toward these goals through bringing in the DOE Fund to clean up Roosevelt Avenue, securing capital funds for the building of two new schools, and the funding of an affordable health care clinic.  Regarding charter schools, Peralta supports the creation of non-profit charter schools over for-profit entities.  Peralta supports the majority of Citizens Union’s reform agenda, and has stated that he has stood up to leadership in the Assembly and will continue to actively support reform in the Senate, even if it is opposed by the leadership.  On specific reform issues, he supports lower contribution limits and the creation of a public matching campaign finance system, the creation of an independent redistricting commission, and the equalization of member items along with greater vetting of organizations receiving funds.  Peralta explained his funding of a now-defunct non-profit organization, the Corona-Elmhurst Center for Economic Development, stating that all funds were frozen after the Executive Director fell ill, and the organization had properly accounted for previously awarded funds.  Peralta noted his support of the recently passed public authorities reform bills, which he believe will bring greater accountability to authorities such as the MTA.  Citizens Union believes that Jose Peralta will be an active advocate for reform in the Senate, has been effective on behalf of his constituents, and has a realistic sense of the legislative process, therefore supporting his candidacy.

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Richard La Salle's Questionnaire

Age: 47  Occupation: Immigration Attorney

Education: JD (Name of degree-granting institution not provided)
Richard La Salle is an immigration attorney who is running for office for the first time.  He credits his work in Jackson Heights as the basis of his support, as he believes his law practice provides a valuable service to the community.  La Salle believes his experience with immigration law also provides him insight into reforms in that area.  His top priorities, if elected, are to improve education through the creation of more charter schools, to boost small businesses through cutting taxes, and to improve sanitation in the district by cleaning up the streets.  He believes that improving the business climate and sanitation together will make Jackson Heights a destination, as the neighborhood’s diversity has created a melting pot of restaurants and other cultural draws.  Regarding reform issues, La Salle supports the abolishment of the two-party system for running elections in the State and City, believing that third parties deserve representation.  He also supports increasing transparency in Albany and believes that member items should be eliminated.  La Salle believes that his opponent, Jose Peralta, is compromised given his funding of a non-existent non-profit with member item allocations.  La Salle is self-financing his campaign, which he states make him beholden to no special interests.  La Salle supports the majority of Citizens Union’s reform agenda, and has a clear understanding of the connection of money in politics.  Citizens Union believes, however, that La Salle does not have a realistic sense of the legislative process, and is therefore not better suited to represent the 13th Senate District.