Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley will return to the City Council after overcoming a stiff challenge from candidate Craig Caruana.
The councilmember celebrated the win with supporters and family members at her victory party at Woodhaven House in Middle Village, after the race initially seemed close.
“This has been a long campaign, but the people of the 30th council district have spoken tonight,” Crowley said, “and guess what? They want to send me back to city hall.”
Crowley won nearly 59 percent of the vote, according to early polling numbers, while Caruana took about 41 percent, a gap of approximately 3,000 votes.
Crowley has served District 30, which encompasses Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale, Ridgewood and parts of Woodhaven and Woodside for nearly four years, tackling issues from education, traffic and preventing firehouse closures.
The race against Caruana was initially one sided in the incumbent’s favor, but following an endorsement from mayoral candidate Joe Lhota and a feisty debate, Caruana, a political newbie, gained some traction.
“[Caruana] ran a good campaign,” Crowley said. “ I think that when you have a challenge it makes you work harder.”
Early results from polling sites showed Crowley only leading by about five percent, but that number gradually started to expand. Now with the election behind her she plans to get back on track with key issues.
“I want to improve transportation,” Crowley said. “Queens is growing and so is the 30th council district.”
Caruana, who was confident he could unseat Crowley, conceded and talked to his supporters at Collony’s Corner in Maspeth.
“There are serious losses that you take in life and this isn’t one of them,” he said. “If you expend yourself in fighting for something that you really believe in and you expend yourself sometimes in struggle, especially what you put your heart into, you can’t lose.”