Tag Archives: John Scandalios

Three more eye race in 20th City Council District


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photos

Three Flushing candidates with histories of failed bids for office are now eying another election.

Democrat John Scandalios and Green Party candidate Evergreen Chou will try their luck at unseating incumbent Councilmember Peter Koo in the 20th District in this year’s City Council election.

Republican Sunny Hahn, a retired city human rights specialist, said she is contemplating a run but has not decided. She is the only one so far to register a campaign committee with the state’s Board of Elections.

“I was not sure what I was doing last year. So many things went wrong,” said Hahn, 60. “I really did not do my best.

That’s what I realized afterward. This time, if I decide, I’d do everything I can and really try to win the election.”

Hahn and Scandalios were among several candidates to lose their Assembly bids last year to Assemblymember-elect Ron Kim. Chou has had three unsuccessful runs for higher office, including his recent congressional loss to now-Congressmember Grace Meng.

But the three say they have honed their campaign techniques.

“I started thinking seriously that I could do this,” said Scandalios, 50, a former comic book store owner. “Frankly, I felt I get a lot of nothing from elected officials. We really need elected officials that work for the people.”

Scandalios did not even make it to the primary in the most recent 40th Assembly District race. He had an insufficient number of signatures and was bumped off the September 13 ballot.

Chou ran as a Green Party nominee in 2009 to replace then-Councilmember John Liu and also against ex-Assemblymember Jimmy Meng in 2002.

The 53-year-old ultrasound technician said he wanted to see more affordable housing and jobs in Flushing.

“These are basic rock-bottom issues that the people in Flushing need, and we’re not getting it from the major parties,” he said. “To me, it’s been like an ‘economic Sandy.’ We’re not helping the people that are in need.”

James McClelland, Koo’s political advisor, said candidates were welcomed to join the race.

“More people in the race give people more of a choice,” he said. “But the councilman is confident that his record and community support will allow him to be victorious in the primary and in the general election.”

 

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Board of Elections bounces hopefuls from ballot


| mchan@queenscourier.com


Three northeast Queens assembly hopefuls had their election dreams squashed after the city’s Board of Elections (BOE) tossed them off the primary ballot.

Democrat John Scandalios, who was vying to replace Assemblymember Grace Meng in the Flushing-based 40th District, had an insufficient number of signatures and was bumped off the September 13 primary ballot, according to results of the BOE’s July 31 ballot challenge hearings.

William Garifal Jr. — one of two Republican runners in the 25th Assembly race — and Lauren Whalen-Nelson, who had hoped to take on current Assemblymember Ed Braunstein in the 26th District, also got the boot due to lack of valid petitions.

Each contender had until July 12 to circulate at least 500 required designating petitions, according to the BOE.

Democrats Ron Kim, Ethel Chen, Myungsuk Lee, Yen Chou and Martha Flores-Vasquez and Republicans Phil Gim and Sunny Hahn will battle it out next month in the 40th District, as will Democrats Jerry Iannece and Nily Rozic in the 25th District. With Garifal’s expulsion, Republican candidate Abe Fuchs in the 25th District will sail through to November’s general election.

State Senator Tony Avella will also not see a challenger until November, when he will face off with Republican contender Joseph Concannon in the 11th District. But State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky in the 16th District can expect a primary fight from Democratic opponent John Messer. Both had enough signatures to make it through until September, despite allegations from Messer’s camp saying Stavisky submitted fraudulent signatures. The winner will take on Republican candidate J.D. Kim.

Braunstein is looking at an uncontested re-election if the Queens County Republican Party declines to file an appeal on behalf of Whalen-Nelson. GOP chair Phil Ragusa said the County was considering the move but was not yet sure.

“We don’t want to disenfranchise the voters of the 26th Assembly district,” Ragusa said. “In an election, you should have both parties represented.”

Whalen-Nelson was seeking to run as a substitute for Tim Furey, a candidate who originally planned on taking on the incumbent but later declined the line, Ragusa said.

Furey, who had unsuccessfully tried to unseat Assemblymember David Weprin in the 24th District in 2010, was not the first this year to bow out of the 26th District race despite being backed by the Queens GOP.

The GOP originally pushed to pit Ralph Cefalo against Braunstein, but the Malba resident ultimately chose not to enter the race, citing personal matters, Ragusa said back in June.

But the County chair said declinations were nothing new.

“There’s a time to decline. This isn’t the first time this happened. It’s how Joe Crowley became the congressman. It’s done all the time,” he said.

Meanwhile, Scandalios lambasted the “forces against him” — opponent Yen Chou, the Queens County Democratic Party and the BOE — for throwing him off the ballot.

The former comic book store owner said the BOE gave him “false information” while he fought objections from the Queens Democrats and “corrupt data” by BOE clerks.

Scandalios can appear on the ballot in the general election if he runs on another line and gathers 1,500 signatures from within the district by August 26, according to the BOE.

“Eventually, I will be elected,” Scandalios said.