Addabbo retains Senate seat in battle with Como


| tcimino@queenscourier.com |

It’s two more years for Joe.

Addabbo handily defeated Republican challenger Anthony Como – 57 to 43 percent — in the 15th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Middle Village, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Glendale, Ozone Park, Woodhaven and Howard Beach — meaning that the incumbent can “continue to be an accessible Senator.”

“For the first time the constituents have a 24-hour Senator,” he said as he cast his ballot at Ozone Park’s M.S. 202 on Tuesday morning, November 2.

In the weeks leading up to the election, Addabbo had been fighting off a barrage of attacks from Como’s camp about the Inspector General report detailing widespread corruption surrounding the Aqueduct Entertainment Group, one of the original bidders for the Aqueduct Racino project.

State Inspector General Joseph Fisch alleged that the selection of AEG by Governor David Paterson, State Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson, Senate President Pro Temp Malcolm Smith and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in January 2009, was made without proper lobbying restrictions.

As late as June, Como, who served a short stint as a City Councilmember in District 30 in 2008, had said he was going to pass on challenging Addabbo in favor of perusing a job as the executive director of the city Board of Elections.

The support of family and friends, he said, encouraged him to run, and in October, he was endorsed by George E. Pataki, three-term Governor of New York.

But it was not enough to nab a victory.

During his first term in office, Addabbo, who served two stints in the City Council before being elected to the State Senate in November 2008, defeating then-incumbent Serphin Maltese – Como’s mentor — said that the state faced an unprecedented fiscal crisis, and the legislators had to make difficult and oftentimes painful decisions to cut funding to important organizations.

“I feel really good,” he told The Courier from his victory party at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach. “But we still have a lot of work to do.”