New York State Senator Jose Peralta dies at 47

QUEENS — New York State Senator Jose Peralta died at the age of 47, state lawmakers confirmed Thursday.

Chris Sosa, the Director of Communications for the NY state Senate  released the following statement:

"I can confirm that Senator Jose Peralta passed away on Wednesday. We have no further details to release at this time and ask that the family's privacy be respected. Thank you to all who have reached out with words of kindness and support."

Peralta passed away due to a "medical emergency" at Elmhurst Hospital Center surrounded by family around 8 p.m. Wednesday, a family friend told PIX11.

Sen. Peralta represented the 13th State Senate District, a diverse district covering Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, and parts of Woodside and Astoria.

Jose Peralta became the first Dominican-American elected to the New York State Senate in March 2010 after winning a special election. He was reelected that same year in a general election. Senator Peralta has since won reelection in the 2012, 2014 and 2016  general elections, according to the New York Senate website.

During this year's Democratic primary elections, Peralta was defeated by Jessica Ramos for State Senate.

Tributes poured in over social media for the beloved senator.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted his condolences, "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. My thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz writes, "Jose 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 Senator of the 22nd district, Martin Golden writes," 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."