There were major surprises when the Queens County Democratic Party made its choices for this year’s elections.
The powerful organization threw its support behind all incumbents seeking reelection and also endorsed Michael Gianaris and Tony Avella for State Senate and Ed Braunstein, Aravella Simotas and Francisco Moya for Assembly.
The party chose Braunstein over nearly a half dozen Democrats who had expressed interest in the northeast Queens Assembly District 26 seat that is being vacated by Ann Margaret Carrozza, who is not seeking reelection.
“Winning the trust and faith of the Queens County organization means a lot to me, and I look forward to working hard from now until Election Day to justify their support,” Braunstein said.
A lifelong Queens resident who currently serves on Community Board 11 and works as a legislative assistant to Speaker Sheldon Silver, Braunstein has already received the backing of a number of unions.
It is unclear how many candidates may decide to drop out of the race after not receiving the county’s endorsement, but Steve Behar, who ran for City Council in last year’s Democratic primary, said he will remain in the race.
“I’ve always been a reformer; I’ve also fought for good government, and if there’s any place on the planet that needs a reformer and good government it’s Albany,” Behar said. “The only job that Ed Braunstein has had is with the leadership, and I believe he may be the worst candidate.”
In Assembly District 39, the Democratic Party selected Francisco Moya, a longtime community activist, to fill the seat vacated by Jose Peralta’s move to the State Senate.
“As an insurgent my entire life, it just shows how far we have come here, not just in the community but in the Queens Democratic Party to receive this endorsement,” Moya said. “It’s something that I welcome and am honored to have the support of the party and also Senator Jose Peralta, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras and Councilmember Danny Dromm.”
Michael Reich, the Executive Secretary for the Queens Democratic Party, said that all of the local leaders and party support for Moya also meant something else.
“We’re putting together a coalition that is going to make it very clear that Hiram [Monserrate] has no part in the Democratic Party,” Reich said.
Monserrate has talked about running for the Assembly after his failed bid to retake his Senate seat in a March special election.
SEE ALL OF THE COUNTY’S PICKS BELOW:
The following candidates received the backing from the Queens Democratic Party.
Gary Ackerman – 5th District
Gregory W. Meeks – 6th District
Joseph Crowley – 7th District
Anthony Weiner – 9th District
Nydia M. Velázquez – 12th District
Carolyn Maloney – 14th District
Shirley L. Huntley – 10th District
Tony Avella – 11th District
Michael Gianaris – 12th District
Jose Peralta – 13th District
Malcolm Smith – 14th District
Joseph Addabbo – 15th District
Toby Stavisky – 16th District
Grace Meng – 22nd District
Audrey Pheffer – 23rd District
David Weprin – 24th District
Rory Lancman – 25th District
Ed Braunstein – 26th District
Nettie Mayersohn – 27th District
Andrew Hevesi – 28th District
William Scarborough – 29th District
Margaret Markey – 30th District
Michele Titus – 31st District
Vivian Cook – 32nd District
Barbara Clark – 33rd District
Michael Den Dekker – 34th District
Jeffrion Aubry – 35th District
Aravella Simotas – 36th District
Catherine Nolan – 37th District
Mike Miller – 38th District
Francisco Moya – 39th District