Who Was Jose Peralta? New York State Senator, 47, Dies of Apparent Heart Attack on Thanksgiving Eve

Tributes have poured in today after the death of New York State Senator Jose Peralta, who died of an apparent heart attack on Thanksgiving Eve aged 47.

Peralta was a lifelong Queens Democrat who represented Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, Woodside and Astoria Heights. He was the first Dominican-American to be elected to the state Senate. He leaves behind a wife, Evelyn, and two sons, New York Daily News reported.

In a statement, Chris Sosa, communications director for the Democratic senator, told ABC7 that Senator Peralta had passed away on Wednesday.

He said: "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."

The news outlet reported Peralta frustrated many in his own party after becoming a member of the Republican-aligned Independent Democratic Conference in January 2017. He was later defeated in a Democratic primary by Jessica Ramos—who won the November election.

Ramos paid her respects on Twitter today, writing: "Jose 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."

She was not alone in tweeting heartfelt messages in the wake of Peralta's passing.

State Senator Mike Gianaris wrote: "Tragic news about Senator Peralta. My heart goes out to his family. Rest In Peace." Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. stated: "Senator Peralta will be sorely missed. He was a good father, a loving husband, and a dedicated public servant. Our city and our state are greatly diminished having lost him. Rest in peace, my friend."

New York State Attorney General-Elect, Tish James, also tweeted earlier today: "Deeply saddened about the sudden passing of my dear colleague Senator Jose Peralta.

"He has always been a dedicated servant to the people of Queens and New York and we will be forever grateful. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones at this time."

Senator Stewart-Cousins, the New York State Senate Democratic Leader, said in a statement issued earlier today: "This news is truly shocking and heartbreaking. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. He will always be part of the Senate family." The New York Daily News reported that Peralta, who was a Queens College graduate, was first elected in 2002.

Who Was Jose Peralta? New York State Senator, 47, Dies of Apparent Heart Attack on Thanksgiving Eve | U.S.