Tag Archives: Leroy Comrie

Comrie defeats state Sen. Malcolm Smith in landslide


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Salvatore Licata

Leroy Comrie is the de facto next state senator for District 14 after besting incumbent Malcolm Smith in the Democratic primary.

There is no Republican candidate for the seat in the upcoming November election.

Comrie, who previously represented part of the district on the City Council, ousted Smith, who is awaiting trial on federal corruption charges, in a landslide victory, earning 69.4 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results.

“I’m excited about being able to serve [District 14] in the state Senate. I was overwhelmed by the reaction from the community,” Comrie said. “It’s a gratifying win. It’s a real testament to the power of the community.”

Political supporters, such as Councilman Daneek Miller and Borough President Melinda Katz, were at Comrie’s victory party to cheer him on.

Most recently, Comrie was the deputy borough president under Katz; he stepped down to run in the District 14 primary.

Smith, who has represented the district for over a decade, was indicted for allegedly trying to bribe his way into a GOP nomination for mayor.

The trial was thrown into turmoil when prosecutors produced hours of audiotapes — many in Yiddish — that Smith’s lawyers claimed would bolster his defense.
The judge declared a mistrial and a new trial is set for January.

But Smith’s tainted reputation was enough to sway several elected officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Borough President Melinda Katz, to endorse Comrie over Smith.

“I’m going to do my best to be an effective legislator,” Comrie noted. “I really have to get going and make sure that the residents of the 14th District can have the things they need in the budget starting in January. [District 14] means home to me.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES  

 

Primary Day 2014 coverage


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

IMG_0120

Check back here for The Queens Courier’s Primary Day coverage from the casting of ballots to the election results.

12:03 a.m. 

The District 11 race has been called: Incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella defeats John Liu.

11:05 p.m.

Leroy Comrie has been declared the winner in the State Senate District 14 race, defeating incumbent Malcolm Smith at 70.9% with 81.7% of the precincts reporting.

10:55 p.m.

Incumbent Toby Stavisky wins her race in State Senate District 16.

10:35 p.m.

Incumbents state Sen. James Sanders and Assemblywoman Margaret Markey have been declared winners in their races.

10:22 p.m.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has been declared the winner in the Democratic primary, Kathy Hochul in the lieutenant governor race: AP

9:00 p.m.

Polls are now closed.

6:16 p.m.

Leroy Comrie: “Honored to have Mayor @BilldeBlasio here in the 14th Senate District to help #gotv for our final push!”

Photo via Twitter/@Leroycomrie

Photo via Twitter/@Leroycomrie

5:06 p.m. “Speaking to voters in Briarwood with Assemblyman @DavidWeprin and @ElizCrowleyNYC”: 14th District State Senate candidate Leroy Comrie

Photo via Twitter/@Leroycomrie

3:18 p.m. State Senate candidate John Liu admonishes a Queens resident for wearing a Yankees shirt: “We’ll get you a Mets shirt.” 

BxHTQ2tIAAEt_cO

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

3:11 p.m. The Queens Courier found this John Liu  taxi getting the word out during Primary Day.

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

3:01 p.m. State Sen. Avella’s crew lays a stake at P.S. 191.

BxHPbzFIIAAzMXk

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

2:37 p.m.  11th District State Senate candidate John Liu talks to a parent at P.S. 191, who told him to do something instead of just making promises.

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

2:26 p.m. “Happy to do my civic duty this Primary Day. #nycvotes,” Toby Ann Stavisky tweeted.

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

1:52 p.m. State Sen. Tony Avella talks to a constituent near the voting site at P.S 169. The polling place has recorded 400 votes since 6 a.m.

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

12:08 p.m. State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, who is up for re-election: “All smiles on Primary Day with @AndrewHevesi @CMKoslowitz”

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

11:30 a.m. John Liu votes this morning, hoping to defeat incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella. “Running and voting as a proud #truedemocrat, joined by @MelindaKatz on #PrimaryDay”

Photo via Twitter/@LiuNewYork

Photo via Twitter/@LiuNewYork

10:44 a.m. 30th District Assembly candidate Dmytro Fedkowskyj: “So proud of my daughter, Deanna, who is voting for the 1st time today. Let’s vote for change! #PrimaryDay #AD30″

Photo via Twitter/@FedkowskyjForNY

Photo via Twitter/@FedkowskyjForNY

10:22 a.m. State Sen. Tony Avella’s crew passes around fliers in Bayside just off of Bell Boulevard. 

BxGPmgoIEAEkToM

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

10:04 a.m. “Our support has been incredibly positive and when the polls close, we are confident that our campaign will be victorious, ” Tony Avella said in a statement after the incumbent state Senator voted this morning. “Voters understand that this race boils down to which candidate they trust to uphold this office with honor and integrity, and John Liu doesn’t pass the laugh test on either account.”

Photo courtesy of Tony Avella

Photo courtesy of Tony Avella

9:38 a.m. Leroy Comrie casts his vote. “I just voted! Thanks @TishJames for joining me! #gotv”

Photo via Twitter/@Leroycomrie

Photo via Twitter/@Leroycomrie

9:10 a.m. Public Advocate Letitia James joins 14th District State Senate candidate Leroy Comrie in Queens.

Photo via Facebook/Leroy Comrie

Photo via Facebook/Leroy Comrie

7:48 a.m.

11th District State Senate candidate John Liu greets voters at the LIRR Bayside station.

“Greeting morning commuters bright and early with @edbraunstein reminding people to vote.”

BxFsOCTCcAISopb

Photo via Twitter/@LiuNewYork

 

 6:00 a.m.

Polls are open and will close at 9 p.m. You can find your poll site location at http://nyc.pollsitelocator.com or by calling the voter Phone Bank at 1-866-VOTE-NYC.

Here are the list of Queens candidates in the Democratic primary for state Senate and Assembly, as well as the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor:

State Senator (10th District)
Everly Brown
Gian Jones
James Sanders Jr. *

State Senator (11th District)
Tony Avella*
John Liu

State Senator (14th District)
Munir Avery
Leroy Comrie
Malcolm Smith*

State Senator (16th District)
S.J. Jung
Toby Ann Stavisky*

Assembly (30th District)
Dmytro Fedkowskyj
Margaret Markey*

Governor
Andrew Cuomo*
Randy Credico
Zephyr Teachout

Lieutenant Governor
Kathy Hochul
Timothy Wu

Incumbent = *

Councilmember Daneek Miller gets to work his first two weeks in office


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Councilmember Daneek Miller is “rolling up his sleeves” and taking the ball into his own hands, creating partnerships throughout the southeast Queens community to form one voice for City Hall.

“There’s the potential to do really great things as a collective,” he said. “To be successful you have to be inclusive. You have to empower others, and you do that by being inclusive and engaging.”

Miller’s first two weeks in office have been a testament to his campaign – meeting with various community and clergy members to form those coalitions early on. He also introduced City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to area residents because “we have a different set of concerns. We needed her to come out and see specifically what to do,” he said.

Getting guns off the streets leaped to the top of Miller’s agenda after the city’s first murder of the year took place in Jamaica, when a 22-year-old man was fatally shot in the chest.

“I’ve been a young man in the streets. There’s no reason you should walk around here and not feel safe,” he said. “That’s not what this community is about. We’re better than that.”

He hopes to target the area’s youth, work on conflict resolution and provide a means to get them focused on school and employment.

Miller was officially sworn into office on Saturday by Mark-Viverito at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in front of a crowd of dozens of elected officials, community leaders and residents.

Former Councilmember Leroy Comrie passed the torch to Miller, and said he expects the new councilmember to not only lead the 27th district but to have a great impact on the city.

“Daneek understands government. Daneek understands more importantly people, the needs of people ,” he said.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Congressmember Gregory Meeks, Borough President Melinda Katz, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Mark-Viverito and labor leaders also spoke about Miller, and said he will be a voice for the middle class.

Moving forward, Miller is determining the feasibility of participatory budgeting, establishing community policing and taking “full advantage of all amenities that the district has to offer.”

“I’m going to shoot hoops at one of the youth centers later,” he said. “I don’t have to change who I am or what I’ve done in the past.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Longtime Queens borough president aide to retire


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Dominick Totino Photography

The right-hand woman to the last two Queens borough presidents is retiring after 30 years in Borough Hall.

Alexandra Rosa, chief of staff to Borough Presidents Claire Shulman and Helen Marshall, will leave at year’s end. She plans to transition into the nonprofit sector.

“I feel that it’s time to move to the next stage of my life, and I’m happy to do that,” she said. “I’m grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to serve the borough of Queens.”

Rosa, 59, helped Marshall develop strategies for investing more than $650 million in capital budget items over a decade. She also played a key role in strengthening the public library system and expanding the borough’s cultural centers.

“So much of the borough has changed,” Rosa said. “We’ve gone through tremendous struggles. On the other hand, we’ve seen tremendous triumph.”

The top aide said Queens, like the rest of the city, was rocked by Sept.11, Superstorm Sandy, a recession and foreclosures.

But the borough came out swinging, with more senior housing, the renaissance of downtown Jamaica and new economic potential unleashed “through the power of zoning,” Rosa said, pointing to newly approved developments in Willets Point and western Queens.

On a smaller platform, the newly opened Children’s Library Discovery Center, a 14,000-square-foot hands-on science and technology-focused exhibit in Jamaica, was one of the most memorable for the outgoing aide.

“It’s something I was able to participate in from its earliest stage of an idea to opening and seeing children engage in exploring the exhibits that were there,” Rosa said. “That was a real beginning-to-end experience.”

Marshall is term-limited and will give up the seat she held since 2001 to Melinda Katz.

Earlier this month, Katz tapped Councilmember Leroy Comrie to be her deputy borough president and Jay Bond, a former longtime aide, as chief of staff.

Rosa said the new administration under Katz will take the borough to the next level and continue the path of progress.

“I’m going to miss working for some really great people. We’ve done some tremendous things together,” Rosa said. “Life is about change, and this is a new phase that I’m embracing.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

South-eastern Queens to get more sewers to alleviate flooding


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

FILE PHOTO

South-eastern Queens neighborhoods, which have long suffered from perpetual flooding, may see some immediate relief after the city announced it would work quickly to create new storm sewers and upgrade catch basements.

A multi-year, $6 billion sewer-upgrade plan to manage the area’s flooding was announced earlier this year, but the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has initiated smaller, targeted projects to control the issues in the interim, including new storm sewers and catch basin upgrades.

“I am very much looking forward to these essential improvements,” said City Councilmember Donovan Richards. “For far too long, large sections of southeast Queens have had to deal with sub-par sewer systems and I eagerly await the relief these new initiatives will bring.”

Storm sewers and 14 new catch basins were installed on 111th Avenue between 155th and 158th Streets and 113th Avenue between 156th and 157th Streets in South Jamaica. There are currently a number of other flood-prone locations under consideration for similar upgrades, according to the DEP, which will be approved in 2014.

These targeted sites are being chosen based on input from elected officials, community groups and 311 flood reports.

“Ground water and flooding issues within southeast Queens cannot be resolved without total cooperation from all involved and we must stay vigilant to ensure the funding continues,” said City Councilmember Leroy Comrie.

More than $383 million have been used over the last ten years to continue to extend the area’s sewer system and the DEP has allocated an additional $380 million for the next ten years.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES:

Katz names Leroy Comrie as deputy borough president


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Borough President-elect Melinda Katz has tapped a former primary election foe to be her right-hand man.

Katz named outgoing Councilmember Leroy Comrie as deputy borough president and Jay Bond, a former longtime aide, as chief of staff on December 3.

“From the beginning, this campaign was about empowering working families and making life better for every Queens resident,” Katz said in a statement. “Jay’s years of experience in the public and private sectors and Leroy’s long history of leadership in Queens will be essential as we build the most open, inclusive and transparent transition in Queens history.”

Bond served 10 years with Katz as her senior policy advisor in the City Council.

Comrie ran against Katz this year in the crowded race for Borough Hall, but dropped his bid in July “due to personal matters.”

The southeast Queens representative was locked in a heated Democratic primary battle with Katz, Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. and State Senator Tony Avella, who also later exited.

“He’s a good man, and Queens is lucky to have him,” Vallone told The Courier.

Avella declined to comment.

Comrie, first elected in 2002, was serving his final term in the City Council this year due to term limits.

He was rumored to exit the race late in May, when the Queens County Democratic Party and several leaders in Comrie’s district, including the Reverend Floyd Flake, endorsed Katz.

“Now more than ever, Queens needs Melinda’s vision for a more prosperous and equitable borough,” Comrie said upon his appointment. “Over the 20 years I’ve spent working with her, Melinda has proven herself a tireless and honest public servant with a real plan to move our borough forward.”

“That’s why I’m thrilled to assist her administration, and work tirelessly over the coming weeks to ensure Queens residents are represented by the best possible team in Borough Hall,” he continued.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Daneek Miller wins by a landslide, will replace Leroy Comrie


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Daneek Miller

After coming out on top of a crowded primary race, Daneek Miller easily slid past the general election and right into the District 27 council seat.

“We have a lot of uphill battles,” Miller said. “When you see how working families have been treated over the last decade, it’s imperative that we have a voice at City Hall.”

And Miller will be that voice for his to-be constituents throughout St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Jamaica, Baisley Park, Addisleigh Park, Queens Village, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens

Once election night came to an end, the Democratic candidate was declared the winner by a landslide, receiving 96.9 percent of the vote over his opponent, Independent Sondra Peeden, with 3.1 percent.

Miller was backed by longtime City Councilmember Leroy Comrie, who endorsed the union president to succeed him.

“Daneek has always been my backbone. [He] is a proven leader,” Comrie said after the primary election. “He has an ability to do the critical things that are required of a city councilmember.

Miller, a community and labor activist, has lived in the district for 35 years. He is currently the president of the Amalgamated Transportation Union (ATU) Local 1056 and was previously the union’s political director.

Through his time with the union, he has worked for members’ rights, health safety, pension reform, veteran’ rights and more, and hopes to transfer that “success” to City Hall, he said.

Daneek Miller declares victory in crowded Council District 27 primary


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Daneek Miller, union president and community advocate, declared victory as the newly elected city councilmember for the 27th District. The race, however, has yet to be officially decided.

Attorney Clyde Vanel trails by nearly 400 votes with 98 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results, and he said it would “be crazy to concede now.”

Vanel said he wants to wait it out and see what results come from absentee and paper ballots before making any determination to bow out.

But for Miller, the party went on. He thanked those present at his campaign headquarters on election night, September 10, and spoke about his upcoming role as councilmember.

“There was a void, something was missing, particularly amongst labor views,” he said.

“There have been very tough times for labor and working families,” he said. “We said we needed to be in City Hall. We said we needed to be at the table. We’re at that table now.”

Miller was flagged by family, friends and the district’s current councilmember, Leroy Comrie, who endorsed Miller for his position.

“Daneek Miller is a proven leader,” Comrie said. “He has an ability to do the critical things that are required of a city councilmember.”

“He has a strong background in negotiation and arbitration. He’s a people person and he has the desire and the ability to do the things necessary to represent the 27th District,” he continued.

Comrie, who has held the district’s seat since 2002 and was term-limited out, approached Miller last May about taking over.

Miller is the president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1056 where he has been able to negotiate various contracts for his workers among other achievements. He also is well-reputed within the district, having a 20-plus year record of volunteering and supporting neighborhood nonprofits.

“I have a voice that comes along with being the president of a labor union,” he said. “I’m happy to have a voice that I can lend to my community.”

Miller has spoken about a number of issues he wishes to address during his upcoming council term, namely upgrading transportation, job opportunities, education and more.

“Daneek is like a part of my family,” said Melanie Harris, friend and supporter. “He’s for the working people.”

Miller faced competitors Vanel, Joan Flowers, Manuel Caughman, Greg Mays and Sondra Peeden.

Caughman, who has a strong political background, received the Queens Democratic Party endorsement and was initially thought to be a frontrunner amongst those vying for the council seat.

Votes will continue to be counted next week.

 

Councilmember Ruben Wills re-elected to City Council


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Incumbent Councilmember Ruben Wills will continue on through another term in the 28th City Council District.

Wills beat out attorney Hettie Powell, Reverend David Kayode and Eugene Walter Evans for the seat with almost 50 percent of all votes.

After being elected to the City Council in a 2010 special election, Wills has been hard at work throughout Jamaica, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill and Rochdale.

He wrote and introduced the Communtiy Violence Prevention Act, which established the city’s responsibility to stem the rise of violence in vulnerable communities. He also co-sponsored the Community Safety Act, aimed at ending discriminatory NYPD stop and frisk policies.

Wills as well has provided nearly $2 million in support of local community groups, after-school and youth programs and senior services.

His political experience goes back to 2003, when he was a special assistant to Councilmember Leroy Comrie and later became chief of staff to former State Senator Shirley Huntley.

Bill would disperse homeless shelters evenly throughout each borough


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Queens shelters may soon be finding new homes.

Councilmembers Ruben Wills and Leroy Comrie started work in 2011 on a bill that would disperse homeless shelters evenly throughout each borough. Wills said research revealed that Community Board (CB) 12 contains 10 of the 18 shelters in all of Queens. CB 12 includes Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Baisley Park, Rochdale Village and South Jamaica.

“The DHS [Department of Homeless Services] is clustering all of these shelters,” Wills said. “All of these undesirable land uses are in certain community boards. We perceived that to be a huge problem.”

Under the bill, Wills and Comrie proposed limiting the number of shelters in any community board to one-third of the borough’s total.

Wills said placing shelters in one specific type of community, such as CB 12, is not in response to any increase in the homeless population.

“It is not fair that southeast Queens has the majority of homeless shelters in the borough,” Comrie said.

For the existing shelters, Wills suggested they make relocation plans so they and their residents are prepared to move when any site’s lease expires. He said it was important to put shelters in areas with convenient transportation.

The council pair proposed an additional bill under which the DHS would determine whether any shelter resident is a sex offender. If so, the department would notify the local community board, councilmember and police precinct. The department would also conduct mental health and criminal background assessments on all adults entering shelters. If passed, the bill will go into effect on January 1, 2014.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 73. Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the SE in the afternoon. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 59. Winds from the SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Long Island City to Old Astoria Guided Walking Tour

Official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum will lead a walk along the East River between the Queensboro and RFK bridges. Begin at the Queensbridge Houses and head for the remnants of Old Astoria. The sights include increasingly oblique views of Manhattan’s Upper East Side from three parks, a former piano factory, a huge power plant, a big box store, the Socrates Sculpture Park, the Isamu Noguchi Museum and ante-bellum mansions. End in Astoria at the Bohemian Hall beer garden. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

MLB seeks to suspend A-Rod, Braun

Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks, “Outside the Lines” has learned. Read more: ESPN

Leroy Comrie includes new subway for Queens among list of projects and priorities he would champion as borough president

Talk about a pipe dream. Councilman Leroy Comrie re-launched his bid for borough president this week by dropping a stunning bombshell: he wants a new subway line in Queens. Read more: New York Daily News

Expired milk, muffins served to Queens elementary school students

For weeks, Alex Quinteros complained to his mother about something he noticed wasn’t quite right in the cafeteria at his elementary school in Queens — the fifth-grader from Flushing said one day he saw cafeteria workers give kids expired corn bread, and on another, he said an expired muffin was offered to younger students. Read more: NBC New York

Walcott raked over the coals at City Council budget hearing

New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott met with some angry and hostile comments Tuesday, as he testified at a budget hearing before the City Council Finance and Education committees. Read more: CBS New York

New York attorney general presses smartphone manufacturers to allow consumers to shut down stolen devices

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leaning on the largest smartphone makers to protect customers from thieves who steal phones, scrub them clean and sell them on the black market. Read more: New York Daily News

 House panel to address sexual assaults in military

Lawmakers outraged by sexual assaults in the military are moving swiftly to address the problem, tackling legislation that would strip commanders of their authority to overturn convictions in rape and assault cases. Read more: AP

Flushing widow pushes for hit-and-run bill


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The widow of a Flushing man killed last year in a tragic hit-and-run held back tears while she pushed for a bill to protect pedestrians.

“I’m very heartbroken, very angry,” said Taysha Dominguez. “There are no words to describe the pain and the suffering that my family is currently going through at this moment.”

Her husband, Dante Dominguez, was struck by a car while crossing 41st Avenue and Union Street on foot in Flushing last November. The driver, who is still unknown, fled and left the father of three to die, officials said. He was 45.

“Even when I step on someone’s foot, I hold accountability. I say that I’m sorry to that person,” said the widow, 30. “This person continued driving, didn’t have the heart to help save that victim. To leave the scene — that’s heartless. That is what has torn me apart.”

Lawmakers and Dante’s family returned to the scene of the crime last week to urge the City Council to pass a bill which would require more police action and the installation of nearly 200 red light cameras.

“We don’t want her husband to have died in vain,” said Councilmember Peter Koo.

The legislation would require the NYPD to make annual reports to the City Council on hit-and-runs that result in death or severe injury, detailing all actions taken to determine culprits. The city’s police department would also have to collect video surveillance from cameras near the crime scene.

The bill also calls for the city to install red light cameras in more than 150 intersections and create a tax credit for property owners who install their own devices.

Sources said the bill will soon be introduced in the City Council.

“Hit-and-runs are too frequent in Queens, and we need to do everything we can to make sure the police have the resources they need to find the drivers responsible for them,” said Councilmember Leroy Comrie.

Inspector Brian Maguire of the 109th Precinct urged anyone with information on Dante’s death to anonymously help by calling 1-800-577-TIPS.

“Getting into an accident is not a crime,” the precinct’s commanding officer said. “It’s only a crime when you flee the scene.”

Dominguez said her husband was a hardworking artist who toiled through long shifts to make ends meet. She added that their family is still reeling from the loss.

“I can’t say we’re okay when we’re really not,” said Dominguez. “We have no sense of closure. We’re hurt and we’re torn. There is not enough justice being done to find out who did this.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens Democratic endorsements: Party backs Katz for borough president, Quinn for mayor


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Melinda Katz: File photo; Christine Quinn; Photo William Alatriste

The Queens Democratic Party doled out its endorsements for this year’s elections Monday, giving key backings in multi-candidate primaries.

The party backed Council Speaker Christine Quinn for mayor, former deputy public advocate Reshma Saujani for public advocate; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for comptroller and Melinda Katz for Borough President. Stringer’s son was born earlier that morning.

Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, who nearly won the mayor’s race in 2009, only received three votes in his favor. Upon Quinn’s formal nomination, she received a standing ovation. The candidate promised better conditions for the middle class in terms of jobs and education.

Katz served in the Assembly from 1994 to 1999. After that, she went on to oversee Queens’ 14 community boards under former Borough President Claire Shulman. Katz then served in the City Council for two terms, and lost the 2009 Democratic primary for comptroller.

She is running against Councilmembers Leroy Comrie and Peter Vallone Jr., State Senators Jose Peralta and Tony Avella and former Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik.

“It was not an easy choice,” said Congressmember Joseph Crowley, chair of the county party. “But we believe that Melinda has all the assets necessary to become the next borough president.”

Katz said she’s excited for the nearly four months of primary campaigning that still lie ahead.

“Over the last year, I have come into your districts,” she said. “We have spoken with constituents together. I’ve gotten to know the issues that surround this entire borough.”

Comrie was considered a likely pick for the nomination in the days leading up to the endorsement. But he has had trouble raising funds and was snubbed earlier this year in a key endorsement from the Reverend

Floyd Flake. Flake’s congregation is in Comrie’s council district, but the religious leader backed Katz.
Vallone, who has been leading in polls and in fund raising, said he was not disappointed by the party’s backing for Katz, adding he did not expect to get the endorsement. His brother Paul was endorsed for City

Council District 19, beating out Austin Shafran. Shafran has received a slew of endorsements since January, one of the biggest being from the AFL-CIO.

“The endorsement is not something I was expecting,” Vallone said. “And I’m just very happy they went with my brother Paul, because I’m going to need him in City Hall if, God willing, I’m borough president.”

In her endorsement for Saujani, Crowley cited Saujani’s advocacy for housing and work in the public advocate’s office under incumbent Bill de Blasio.

She is running in a four-way Democratic primary against State Senator Daniel Squadron, Cathy Guerriero and Tish James.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Republican Arcabascio to run for Borough President


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

An Astoria technology professional is eyeing a Borough Hall run as a Republican, making the race for borough president a little tighter.

Aurelio “Tony” Arcabascio confirmed his candidacy and expects to receive county endorsement soon.

Arcabascio, who ran his own technology company for 13 years, made his debut in the political world last year when he ran an unsuccessful race against State Senator Michael Gianaris for District 12.

Now, looking to represent the whole borough, Arcabascio said he wants to bring his experience as the only non-elected official to the table.

“I haven’t been caught up in politics for my whole career,” he esaid.

A product of Jackson Heights, Arcabascio, 52, will face one of six Democrats vying for the spot: Councilmembers Leroy Comrie and Peter Vallone Jr., State Senators Jose Peralta and Tony Avella, former Councilmember and former Assemblymember Melinda Katz and former Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik.

The Dems will face off in a September 10 primary.

Arcabascio, who nabbed the GOP endorsement for Senate last year, expects to pick it back up for borough president. Queens Republican chair Phil Ragusa said the candidate is going through the screening process for the endorsement, and a formal announcement should come soon.

With his background in technology, Arcabascio said he is open to bringing more of the industry’s jobs to the borough, especially in western areas such as Long Island City and Maspeth.

“We have a lot of empty factories in Queens,” he said. “One of the things I believe would be my responsibility as the number one cheerleader for Queens is to get businesses here.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 63. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 52. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Taste 2013

Queens Taste 2013 will take place at the Caesars Club at Citi Field Tuesday at 6 p.m.. Close to 50 food and drink purveyors will offer samples of their products for free in a festive atmosphere full of Queens residents and business people. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

FDNY rescues cop stuck in tree trying to rescue cat 

Firefighters had to rescue an NYPD officer stuck in a tree after the cop climbed up to try and save a cat Monday in Queens. Read more: NBC New York

Leroy Comrie wants more ‘hit-and-run’ info

The city will have to collect more data on hit-and-run incidents under legislation being introduced by City Councilman Leroy Comrie. Read more: New York Daily News

Magazine lauds Astoria’s Bohemian Hall as one of nation’s top outdoor watering spots

New Yorkers have been enjoying this old-school Astoria pint pusher for about a century, and now the rest of the country is being let in on the secret. Read more: New York Daily News 

Obama attends Democratic fundraisers in New York City

President Barack Obama was in New York City on Monday to raise campaign cash for Democrats. Read more: CBS New York

Top IRS official didn’t reveal tea party targeting

Congress was not told tea party groups were being inappropriately targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, even after acting agency Chief Steven Miller had been briefed on the matter. Read more: AP

Popular psychologist, broadcaster, native New Yorker Dr. Joyce Brothers dies

Joyce Brothers, the pop psychologist who pioneered the television advice show in the 1950s and enjoyed a long and prolific career as a syndicated columnist, author, and television and film personality, has died. Read more: Fox New York