Espinal was the lone person on the ballot in a special election to replace Francisco Moya, who represented the neighborhoods in and around Jackson Heights and Elmhurst in Queens. Moya left the post to replace Julissa Ferreras-Copeland in the City Council, who retired.
But Espinal wasn't the only person on the ballot because she was the only one interested in the seat. Catalina Cruz, who was Ferreras-Copeland's chief of staff, was also considering a run as a Democrat, but given the unique rules in a special election that allows party heads to pick their candidate, she was left off the ballot.
But Cruz still plans on challenging Espinal, who was a former aide to Moya, in the primary this September.
And now there are three.
Yonel Letellier Sosa has announced his intent to run in the primary as well. Letellier Sosa originally wanted to run for Ferreras-Copeland's seat, but Moya challenged his petitions and through a technicality – Letellier Sosa failed to list the office and district he was running for – was kicked off the ballot.
He sued not only Moya, but his current challenger in Esipinal as well, but his case was tossed from state Supreme Court.
Letellier Sosa also has his own experience working in a political office: he was chief of staff to Jose Peralta during his time in the Assembly and for seven years after that in the State Senate.
Letellier Sosa faced off against Cruz in a recent debate, and both candidates criticized Espinal for skipping out. Now Espinal is flipping the tables.
She is challenging Cruz and Letellier Sosa to three debates in different neighborhoods throughout the district in July and August.
It's going to be a busy summer for voters in central Queens.