Helen Sears Out of Race to Replace Hiram Monserrate (Who's Also Running)

After the state senate expelled Hiram Monserrate and a special election for his seat was called for March 16, Queens Democrats fell even more firmly in line behind Jose Peralta, whom they had endorsed before Monserrate's ouster, for the gig. It was expected he would face former councilmember Helen Sears on the Republican line -- in fact, this week the Queens GOP leadership unanimously supported Sears for the slot.

But in vain: The Queens Courier tells us Sears will not accept the nomination.

Sources tell the Courier the deciding factor was Sears' failure to cut a deal with the Independence Party, whose additional nomination may have helped her greatly (as it did former Republican Mike Bloomberg in his mayoral races).

The Queens Republicans have shifted their endorsement to Administrative Law Judge Robert Beltrani, a former unsuccessful civil court and Queens Supreme Court candidate. He appears to have no challengers.

Sears lost her council seat to Democrat Daniel Dromm last year, despite the endorsement of council speaker Christine Quinn.

Hiram Monserrate will run against Peralta if his petition is accepted. Monserrate says his opponent "can't point to anything he's done," whereas Monserrate's actions are at this point world-famous.


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