Former N.Y. State Senator, Convict Monserrate Hopes For Forgiveness, City Council Seat

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A convicted and disgraced politician is vying for a political comeback, but his past could stand in the way.

As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Monday, Hiram Monserrate hopes voters are forgiving.

On the streets of central Queens are two City Council candidates with plenty of experience for the job. One is state Assemblyman Francisco Moya, 43, who has been serving in Albany for seven years.

The other is Monserrate, 50, who pointed out that he has three decades of public service.

But in this race, what candidates will do takes a back seat to what they have already done — particularly Monserrate, who was expelled from the state Senate in 2010 after being convicted for assaulting his then-girlfriend.

In 2012, he pleaded guilty to improperly using City Council money to finance his Senate campaign.

“I’m sorry about everything that I did that wasn’t correct. But I have learned from that,” he said, “and everyone deserves a second chance.”

Moya did not agree that Monserrate deserves any such thing.

“This man has no business running for public service,” Moya said. “We have to say goodbye to the scandals of the corruption of the past and we have to move forward.”

Moya defeated the disgraced senator in 2010 when they competed for a state Assembly seat. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are endorsing Moya, as is the National Organization for Women, or NOW.

NOW-NYC has been preparing to protest against votes for Monserrate, outside primary polls on Tuesday.

“He has proven himself to be both violent and corrupt,” said Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW-NYC. “Those are not very good combination for a leader.”

“He’s not trustworthy. He’s a big liar,” said Pat Thorpe of East Elmhurst, Queens. “He’s a big liar and a big thief.”

Many in the Queens district do not agree.

“Everybody has a chance to be forgiven. Everybody has a chance to repent,” said Shamaya Morris of East Elmhurst. “And Monserrate has done both. Let his past stay where it is in the past.”

“You can’t change what’s in the past. So you’ve got to look for the future,” said Kenneth Thompson. “Right now we need him in this community.”

Typically, only a few thousand people in this district vote in the primary. With Moya having powerful democrat endorsements and Monserrate having a deep seeded relationship with this community, the race is expected to be tight.

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