If at first you don’t get elected, run, run again.
That seems to be the motto of former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate, who will soon be back on the ballot box in a bid to fill a vacant western Queens Assembly seat.
But the question is whether the scandal-plagued ex-pol, who was expelled from the senate and then lost a special election to fill his old seat, can muster the support needed for a Democratic primary win on Sept. 14.
The latest campaign fund-raising period ended yesterday. Primary candidates are required to disclose all of their financial activity, including how much they’ve raised, by tomorrow.
"I can absolutely win this election," Monserrate told Queens News. "I still have a lot to offer this community."
Monserrate’s opponents vehemently disagreed.
The Queens County Democratic Party has solidly thrown its support behind candidate and businessman Francisco Moya. And they have painted a picture of Monserrate as a weakened candidate whose once-strong support base has been eroded by scandals and a failed reelection bid.
Moya said he has raised nearly $120,000 since spring with the help of more than 100 volunteers.
Meanwhile, Monserrate says he has only raised between $40,000 to $50,000 in the same time period. And he has not been as visible in the community as in previous elections.
"The public has already spoken and said no way to Hiram Monserrate overwhelmingly," said Michael Reich, executive secretary of the Queens County Democratic Party. "In times past, he was the loudest voice out there. Now, he’s hiding in the corners."
Reich pointed to Monserrate’s misdemeanor conviction for assaulting his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, in December 2008 and his brief stint as a Republican during last year’s senate coup for his dwindling support in the community. Monserrate also alienated the gay community when he voted against same-sex marriage.
Ana Archila, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, which works with the Hispanic community, said it feels like a quiet campaign season.
Monserrate "inspires very strong loyalties. But I’m not seeing any of that activated in the neighborhood the way that I’ve seen it before."
Archila is confident that Moya will win. "Moya has been able to garner a lot of support from labor unions and other institutions that are able to provide real muscle," she said. "That will probably make a huge difference."
But laying low could be a smart move for Monserrate, said political consultant Scott Levenson.
"It may be a strategic decision," he said. "He doesn’t need to make a lot of noise. He needs to identify his base and turn them out to the polls."
Ricardo Reyes, pastor of the El Elyon Church in Corona, is a strong Monserrate supporter. "He’s done a great job in the community," he said. "He’s got a good heart and he’s a good man."