Peralta's communications director told WABC 7, "I can confirm that Senator José Peralta died on Wednesday. We have no further details to disclose at this time and we ask that the privacy of the family be respected. Thanks to all those who have expressed words of kindness and support."
"I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Senator Jose Peralta. Senator Peralta was a dedicated public servant, a relentless advocate for Queens and a pioneer as the first Dominican-American elected to the New York State Senate," Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement issued this morning. "As a Member of the Assembly for eight years and then as Senator, he fought tirelessly to make a difference for others, and he will always be remembered for his service to Queens and to all New Yorkers. This is a reminder of how precious life is — hold your families a little bit closer today as we think about all we are thankful for. On behalf of the entire family of New York, my thoughts and prayers are with Senator Peralta and his family, including his wife, Evelyn, and two sons."
Peralta was elected to the State Senate in 2010 in a special election after the Senate decided to expel Hiram Monserrate, who had been convicted of assaulting his girlfriend. However, 2017, Peralta's constituents started to confront his defection to the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway group of Democratic Senators who caucused with the Republicans, in angry town halls. He was defeated in the September primary by Jessica Ramos.
José Peralta is gone too soon. When I met him in 2003 I saw a world of promise for our community & though years later we’d disagree on tackling the issues, I know in his heart he loved his community. He was a true public servant. Strength & love to his wife, sons, and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/r4HhjIAji1
— Jessica Ramos (@jessicaramos) November 22, 2018
Peralta's colleagues and other elected officials also shared their condolences:
Deeply saddened by passing of Sen #JosePeralta, my "brother from another mother," as he lovingly referred to me. Jose was a good man who loved his community & job. Words cannot express my feelings. My sympathies go out to Evelyn, Matthew, Myles, his mother & family. RIP my friend pic.twitter.com/zJ7Qqro2KG
— Daniel Dromm (@Dromm25) November 22, 2018
This news is truly shocking and heartbreaking . My deepest condolences go out to Senator Jose Peralta’s family and friends. He will always be part of the Senate family.
— Sen. Stewart-Cousins (@AndreaSCousins) November 22, 2018
My deepest condolences go out to the family of Senator Jose Peralta. Jose was a great man who gave his all to the community he served and New York State. May God bless and comfort his family.
— Senator Marty Golden (@SenMartyGolden) November 22, 2018
Tragic news about @SenatorPeralta. My heart goes out to his family. Rest In Peace
— Sen. Mike Gianaris (@SenGianaris) November 22, 2018