Tag Archives: Matt Silverstein

Matthew Silverstein drops out of District 19 primary race

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File Photo

Matthew Silverstein, one the five candidates running in the District 19 Democratic primary race to defeat the incumbent councilmember, Dan Halloran, announce he is dropping out of the race.

In a statement, Silverstein confirmed he will be ending his campaign for City Council after going through one of the most difficult years of his life last year with his mother passing away in December.

“My Mom was an amazing woman who wanted me to continue fighting for the issues I care about. However, after consulting with my friends and family, I have decided to suspend my campaign,” said Silverstein.

Although he will no longer be running, Silverstein hopes to find a candidate in the race who represents his ideals and could work together with him to put “this city back on the right path.”

Silverstein, who is a Democratic State Committeeman and the director of public affairs for America Works Of New York, Inc., was facing off against  former vice president of public affairs for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Empire State Development Austin Shafran, former assemblymember John Duane, community activist and urban planning consultant Paul Graziano and attorney Paul Vallone, who is the son of former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. and brother of Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.

“This campaign might be ending, but I am not going away. I will continue to advocate for the issues that are important to me. I will continue my work as a civic leader, activist, and a Democratic State Committeeman,” Silverstein also said in his statement.   “Improving our schools, putting New Yorkers back to work, advocating for our City’s veterans, fighting for tax equity for Co-Op and Condo Owners and preserving our quality of life are the issues that made me want to run for City Council from the very beginning.”



City Council seats draw big names

| mchan@queenscourier.com

ne council

A handful of political hopefuls in northeast Queens are already mulling over a chance to join the city’s lawmaking body next year.

The draw of taking over one vacant city council seat and possibly ousting one of the borough’s only two Republicans in another district has been luring in a number of interested candidates.

Councilmember James Gennaro is currently rounding out his third and final term leading the 24th District, which stretches from Fresh Meadows to Jamaica, and will be forced to leave his post in January 2013.

Martha Taylor, 72, has already declared her candidacy in the race to replace him. But the lawyer from Jamaica Estates may have to face off with Assemblymember Rory Lancman, should rumors of him entering the city race — spread after the Fresh Meadows attorney lost his bid for Congress in June — turn out to be true.

Taylor, a first-time candidate, is the Democratic District Leader in the 24th Assembly District, president of the Jamaica Estates Association and vice chair of Community Board 8.

Meanwhile, a bigger candidate ring is growing in the 19th District, which extends from College Point to the borders of Nassau County, currently served by Republican Councilmember Dan Halloran. Halloran has his eyes set on winning the 6th District Congressional seat, but sources say if his Capitol Hill run fails, he will try for re-election to the Council.

Democratic State Committeeman Matthew Silverstein, former Assemblymember John Duane and attorney Paul Vallone — the son of former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. and brother of Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. — are three existing, serious contenders for the seat.

Austin Shafran, the 31-year-old vice president of public affairs for government agency Empire State Development, has had his name bandied about, while longtime community activist Jerry Iannece — who was defeated in last month’s state Assembly primary — told The Courier he would “neither deny nor confirm” rumors of his entering the race.

No Republican candidate has stepped up to the plate yet, although it is still early. Buzz in the political sphere of John Messer — who recently lost a Democratic Senate primary against Senator Toby Ann Stavisky — joining were false, the Oakland Gardens attorney confirmed.

City Council elections take place next November.