Tag Archives: City Council District 32

Close race called for incumbent Councilmember Ulrich, Simon not conceding


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Votes were counted down to the bitter end before a winner was declared in City Council District 32, and Republican Councilmember Eric Ulrich has reclaimed his seat.

“This race was a real nail biter,” Ulrich said in front of family and friends on election night.

As the results trickled in, Ulrich and his Democratic opponent, Lew Simon, were nearly 50/50 on votes, according to preliminary numbers.

However, both candidates took to the mic and declared victory to their respective crowds.

“It appears that we have won,” Simon said in Rockaway.

Meanwhile, in Howard Beach, Ulrich assured his constituents that he had “the most up-to-date information” and that he had a “very strong lead.”

“Many of you have been with me since the beginning, and this is not going to end,” said the incumbent.

When Ulrich caught wind that Simon too had called the race in his own favor, he responded, “Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.”

However, Simon’s camp came back and accused Ulrich of adapting the ways of the Tea Party where “losing is winning and less is more.”

Simon and his team are still “status quo,” said Doug Forand, spokesperson for Simon. The group plans to wait until all paper ballots are counted and will respond to those results.

“We defied expectations. Few people thought it would be such a tight race. And the race isn’t over yet. We want to make sure every single vote is properly counted,” Simon said. “I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support across this district, including from many Republican voters who clearly want a change in leadership.”

According to unofficial results, Ulrich came out on top with 53 percent of the vote and was declared the winner by both the New York Times and the Associated Press.

“I was re-elected by my constituents, and I have a lot of work to do,” said Ulrich, now the only Republican in the Council’s Queens delegation.

He said he will work with the newly elected administration in a bipartisan way, and looks forward to finding out what role he can play in the City Council after a new Speaker is elected.

Regarding any potential role as a Minority Leader in the City Council, Ulrich said it’s “too premature to be talking about leadership roles,” and his time in office still comes second to current Minority Leader James Oddo of Staten Island.

Regardless, during his next term, Ulrich also hopes to revamp the Republican “brand” and work to restore the public’s faith in his party line.

As Ulrich wound down his victory speech, he raised his hands one last time.

“Go to bed tonight and know we kicked Lew Simon’s ass. Let’s have a drink.”

The Queens Courier endorses incumbent City Councilmember Eric Ulrich


| editorial@queenscourier.com

ULRICH

The Queens Courier is pleased to endorse incumbent City Councilmember Eric Ulrich.

He was elected in 2009 as the representative for District 32, serving Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill, and Woodhaven.

In the four years since, he has proven himself a community-minded leader, ever present in the neighborhoods he serves, especially during times of crisis, like Sandy.

So when you go to the polls, be sure to cast your vote for Eric Ulrich.

 

 

City Council District 32 candidates Ulrich, Simon look ahead to Election Day


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photos

The heated race for City Council District 32 is coming to a close.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich, the incumbent, has represented District 32 in the City Council since 2009. He stood with Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill and Woodhaven through natural disasters and hard-pressed community issues.

“I am proud of my campaign and my work in the City Council over the past four-and-a-half years. I am running on my record of accomplishments and my ability to deliver real results for my constituents,” Ulrich said.

However, Lew Simon has not been far behind. He said he worked tirelessly through Sandy to ensure the safety of the district.

“The support we’re getting on our calls and door to door campaigning is phenomenal – people want change and they don’t feel like they’re being represented in City Hall on issues from schools to street lights to Sandy rebuilding,” Simon said.

Simon suffered a setback earlier this month when he received a stent due to partial heart blockage. He now said he’s spending every day “making sure every voter turns out” on Election Day.

 

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Queens City Council candidate Lew Simon has health scare


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

A health scare has temporarily taken one candidate off the campaign trail, but he’ll be back running as soon as possible.

Lew Simon, Democratic candidate for City Council District 32, felt chest pain and went to the hospital Wednesday morning. Doctors checked out the hopeful pol and determined he had partial blockage to his heart.

“It caught him a little bit by surprise,” said Doug Forand, spokesperson for Simon.

Doctors first said he would need a bypass, which would have been a “bigger crimp” in his campaign, Forand said. After subsequent tests, it was determined Simon would instead need a stent, a less-invasive procedure.

Simon will undergo surgery today or Monday, Forand said. Assuming no complications, he will be out of the hospital in a day or so and will “be back up on his feet immediately.”

“What exactly he’ll do, we still have to defer to the doctors,” Forand said.

The spokesperson added Simon, a high-energy candidate, should feel rejuvenated after the procedure.

“We’re going to have a Lew Simon with a lot more energy out there,” he said.

His camp is “fully confident” he will be back at some point next week and fully back, up and running by the week after.

 

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Lew Simon wins 32nd Council District primary, prepares for general election against Ulrich


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEW SIMON CAMPAIGN

Lew Simon, Democratic District leader, is officially the party’s candidate to race to claim the seat in City Council District 32. He will face incumbent Councilmember Eric Ulrich in the November general election.

Simon declared victory after receiving 65.1 percent of the votes over his opponent, William Ruiz, according to unofficial results.

“We have to make it to November,” Simon said election night, September 10. “We’ll be back out there early in the morning.”

The race is reflective of the 2009 City Council special election in which the Rockaway civic leader and Ulrich originally faced off for this very seat.

“Lew will be a very formidable opponent,” Ulrich said. “I look forward to having a very in depth and robust debate about the future of our community.”

If elected, Simon said first and foremost his priority is to rebuild after Sandy devastated the district, which comprises of the majority of the Rockaway Peninsula as well as South Richmond Hill, Howard Beach, South Ozone Park and Woodhaven.

“Everybody has let us down. We keep hearing FEMA money is coming, build-it-back money is coming,” he said. “Everyone is frustrated and I want to cut through the red tape.”

He also hopes to address the hospital and medical crisis as well as keep the Rockaway Ferry line subsidized and potentially include a pick-up point in Howard Beach.

Simon additionally said transportation is a rampant issue throughout the district, including Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards. To alleviate the “abysmal” traffic, Simon said he wants to create an HOV carpool lane to be used during peak hours.

Ulrich too has a “very ambitious and bold plan” to relieve traffic congestion on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards in order to “put public transportation back on the fast track,” among his hopes in another term.

District 32 has been led by Ulrich for the past four years, and he said he is looking forward to building on his standing record of accomplishments.

“I feel very optimistic and I’m very proud of everything that I’ve done for my constituents, and I want to continue to work for them in the City Council,” he said.

Regarding his opponent, Simon said he’s “very energetic, very excited” to head to November’s election.

“After this big win, I think it should send a clear message that I’m a serious candidate to challenge the incumbent,” he said. “Some people laughed it off, but I think my numbers speak for themselves.”

Incumbent Councilmember Donovan Richards regains District 31 seat


| mhayes@queenscourier.com


Councilmember Donovan Richards was given the go ahead to keep the City Council seat he has briefly held since March’s special election.

Richards declared victory after receiving over 50 percent of the votes over his opponents, Michael Duncan, community activist, and Ricardo Brown, accountant.

In his first six months in office, Richards fought against Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to close daycares, libraries, after-school programs and firehouses in the district. He also brought in nearly $10 million in capital and expense funding for various projects including technology and school upgrades and library expansions.

He negotiated with the Bloomberg Administration to establish a Workforce Center in the district and voted to overturn the mayor’s veto on stop and frisk.

Before winning re-election, Richards worked for then-Councilmember James Sanders for about a decade. Sanders vacated the 31st District seat to successfully run for State Senate.

“Donovan is a young man who has tremendous vision,” said attorney Jacques Leandre at the polls on voting day, September 10.

Before the results came in, Leandre said the district would be “tremendously blessed by whoever wins,” including Duncan, who Leandre said has “tremendous passion.”

Duncan, restaurant owner and community activist, also ran in the special election.

During his term, Richards said he will focus on education, jobs and affordable housing within Rosedale, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens and the Rockaways.

Democrat Lew Simon enters City Council District 32 race


| tcullen@queenscourier.com


City Council District 32 has a new contender.

Lew Simon, leader of the 23rd Assembly District, has officially declared his candidacy as a Democrat for the upcoming race, where he will vie with incumbent Republican Councilmember Eric Ulrich.

Simon was backed by the Queens Democratic Party on Monday, May 20 after announcing his candidacy last week. State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder have also endorsed him. “I’m very honored and I’m very proud,” Simon said.

He is running on a platform of Sandy reconstruction and restoring the Long Island Rail Road’s Rockaway Beach Branch.

“The playing field is very different,” he said. “I was not happy with the services and the responses we’re getting from any of the city agencies, our mayor or our councilmember.”

This will not be the first time Simon and Ulrich face off in an election. They ran in a 2009 special election to fill the council seat vacated by State Senator Joseph Addabbo.

“I’m very excited,” Simon said of this year’s run. “I’m going to do the very old fashioned way of grass roots. I plan on being everywhere you see.”

Simon has begun reaching out to different neighborhoods in District 32, including Woodhaven and Lindenwood. He said he previously worked with Woodhaven residents when the neighborhood was part of the assembly district.

“It was like going back to my family,” he said. “I’ve never left Woodhaven. I’ve always been there working closely with them.”

 

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