Tag Archives: nyc 2013 election

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.



City Council incumbents Weprin, Crowley miss DC 37 union endorsement

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photos

Two City Council incumbents from Queens were not endorsed by the city’s largest public employee union because they did not apply for the nod, the union said.

DC 37 released its endorsements for the November general election last Wednesday, which included multiple sitting councilmembers in the borough and candidates who won primaries in September.

Left off the Queens list were Speaker-hopeful Mark Weprin and Elizabeth Crowley — both who are Democrats, facing fairly easy challenges for re-election in a blue-dominated borough.

The pair joins a handful of city incumbents who were not endorsed because they did not apply to be part of DC 37’s long-established screening process, according to Wanda Williams, the union’s political and legislative director.

The list includes City Council incumbents Dan Garodnick, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Annabel Palma, Brad Lander and David Greenfield.

“The lack of an endorsement should not be construed as a commentary on their performance but as a reflection of their decision not to submit themselves to our rigorous screening process,” Williams said.

“Only the kind of transparent and rigorous screening process we have adopted assures we give all candidates a fair hearing they have initiated,” she added.

Weprin said he was unaware of the union’s screening policy. He was also running unopposed until August.

“We didn’t really reach out since I didn’t have an opponent until the summer,” he said. “This year, I certainly would have loved their endorsement. They are certainly a valuable and important union to me. I don’t take offense at it. I just wasn’t aware of the process. No hard feelings.”

Crowley did not comment.

Contested Queens incumbents who enjoy the union’s backing this year include Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, Eric Ulrich, Ruben Wills and Donovan Richards.

DC 37 also endorsed unchallenged incumbents Julissa Ferreras, Danny Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer and primary winners Paul Vallone, Rory Lancman, Daneek Miller and Melinda Katz.

The municipal workers’ union, which has 121,000 members and 50,000 retirees, said it sends out an army of volunteers to work phone banks and do door-to-door “Get Out The Vote” operations.




Cuomo, Gillibrand back Paul Vallone in District 19 race

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand endorsed Democratic City Council candidate Paul Vallone for District 19 Wednesday.

Cuomo said Vallone could carry the legacy of his family.

“I have known the Vallone family for decades and admire their contributions of public service to the City of New York,” the governor said in a statement. “In my mind, there is no question that Paul Vallone is the right man for the job.”



De Blasio has strong lead over Lhota: poll

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photos

The results of the first post-primary mayoral poll show Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio with a wide lead over Republican Joe Lhota.

According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist poll survey released Tuesday night, 65 percent of likely voters are for the city’s public advocate, de Blasio, 22 percent support the former MTA chairman, Lhota, and 3 percent back Independence candidate and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion. One percent are for another candidate and 9 percent are undecided.

“Joe Lhota must attract many Democrats to be competitive against the heavily favored Bill de Blasio, and right now, that’s not happening,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “De Blasio is very well-liked and is cornering the market on most of the issues and qualities that matter to voters.”

Though de Blasio and Lhota have the support of the majority of their party voters, de Blasio attracts more support from GOP voters than Lhota receives from Democrats.

According to the poll results, 77 percent of likely Democratic voters support de Blasio, 13 percent are for Lhota and 1 percent Carion.  Sixty-three percent of likely Republican voters are for Lhota, 25 percent are for de Blasio and 5 percent Carrion. Among non-enrolled voters, 50 percent support de Blasio, 24 percent back Lhota and 9 percent are for Carrion.

When it came to who the voters thought could handle the issues facing the city, most thought de Blasio would do the best job. But voters were more divided on would be better at handling crime prevention and the city’s finances.

The poll surveyed a total of 930 registered voters and 632 likely voters on Sunday and Monday.

Responding to the poll, Lhota spokeswoman Jessica Proud said in a statement Tuesday, “We always knew we’d be the underdog in this race and once New Yorkers learn more about Bill’s radical policies, they will be looking for a practical alternative. Joe’s experienced leadership and solutions to expand the middle class will resonate with everyday New Yorkers in all five boroughs.”



Stringer beats Spitzer in comptroller primary

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@Stringer2013

Eliot Spitzer’s comeback failure was Scott Stringer’s political triumph in the comptroller primary Tuesday.

The Manhattan borough president beat the former governor, earning 52 percent of the vote with 98 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.

“I will bring integrity to this office. I will bring experience and leadership. I will make sure that I make you proud,” said Stringer in his election night victory speech.

“And to the people of this city as I continue to get to know you, I want you to know I believe that public office can make a difference. I’ve believed that since I was a little kid. I believe it more than ever tonight.”

Stringer was looking at a guaranteed Democratic nomination until Spitzer decided to throw his hat in the ring.

Following on the heels of Anthony Weiner’s political comeback attempt, Spitzer entered the race less than a week before he had to collect 3,750 signatures from registered Democratic voters to make it onto the ballot.

He was able to meet that July 11 deadline with more than enough support.

Initial polls showed Spitzer ahead of Stringer, but in the days before the election, they showed the race was in too-close-to-call.

Though the former governor had the stigma of a prostitution scandal that forced him to resign in 2008, some argued his name recognition would give him an advantage.

But that advantage may not have worked for the polls that matter.

Stringer will go on to face Republican John Burnett, who has worked on Wall Street, Libertarian candidate and activist Hesham El-Meligy, and Green Party candidate and former school teacher Julia Willebrand in the November 5 general election.

In an additional twist to an already interesting election season, another potential opponent was former madam Kristin Davis.

Running as a Libertarian candidate, Davis spent time in jail for running her prostitution business, and said she provided woman to Spitzer, though those claims were never verified.

She was arrested in August for allegedly selling prescription drugs, and reportedly never filed petitions to get on the ballot.


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Check back here for continuing Primary Day coverage from the casting of ballots to the election results.

11:52 p.m.

Projected winners in Queens city council districts:

City Council District 22 – Costa Constantinides

City Council District 28 – Ruben Wills

City Council District 24 -Rory Lancman

City Council District 31 -Donovan Richards

City Council District 32 – Lew Simon

11:36 p.m.

Melinda Katz projected as winner in Queens borough president race, beating Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.

11:33 p.m.

Scott Stringer is projected as the winner in Democratic comptroller race, beating Eliot Spitzer.

11:25 p.m.

Christine Quinn has conceded the Democratic race for mayor.

11:13 p.m.

Councilmember Letitia James and State Senator Daniel Squadron will go on to runoff in Public Advocate race.

Squadron released the following statement:

“Over the next 21 days, we’ll keep talking about my record — about results, reform, and integrity. And we will talk about my plan to make the Public Advocate’s office essential to our city, getting results for New Yorkers who need them.”

“Thank you to all of our supporters. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without you. Now let’s bring it home.”

11:00 p.m.

Joe Lhota projected as winner of Republican mayoral primary.

10:45 p.m.

Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner makes concession speech:  “Sadly, I was an imperfect messenger.”

10:29 p.m.

Borough President race: Katz is a little over 25,000 and Vallone is not yet at 20,000 with more than half of precincts reporting.

10:22 p.m.

Leading in citywide races with 26 percent reporting: de Blasio 39 percent, Lhota 50 percent, Stringer 52 percent, Squadron 34 percent.

10:19 p.m.

City Council District 31 incumbent Donovan Richards with 61.2 percent of votes, with 13.8 percent precincts reporting.

Incumbent Councilmember Ruben Wills currently with 48.9 percent of votes, with 22.5 percent precincts reporting in City Council District 28 race.

10:12 p.m.

Borough President Candidate Melinda Katz is up about 1,000 votes now with 12 percent precincts reporting.

9:30 pm.

Exit polls show Bill de Blasio with a strong lead in the mayoral race, according to reports, and Scott Stringer ahead in the comptroller race.

9:00 p.m.

Polls are now closed.

3:43 p.m.

City Council District 22 candidate John J. Ciafone voted today together with his wife and son.

“I’m getting a good feeling but of course we don’t know until the end of the evening,” he said. “I’m optimistic.”

“It’s been a long journey and hopefully it’s not the end of the road, it’s a new beginning,” he said.

1 p.m.

Lew Simon, Democratic candidate for City Council District 32, votes at P.S. 114 in Belle Harbor.

Photo courtesy of Simon’s campaign

11:30 a.m.

Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis stops by Bay Terrace poll site P.S. 169.

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

11:15 a.m.

State Senator Daniel Squadron, running in the Democratic Public Advocate Primary, votes alongside his son at P.S. 29.

Photo via @DanielSquadron

11:05 a.m.

Democratic City Council District 22 candidate Costa Constantinides voted together with his four-year old son, Nikolas, and wife, Lori, at P.S. 85 in Astoria this morning.

“I feel great, it’s been a wonderful day,” he said.

“It was a really special moment to cast a ballot with my son,” he continued.

“Of course I’d like to win, but it’s more than me winning, it’s about representing the community.”

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

10:56 a.m.

City Council District 27 Candidate Joan Flowers gives a thumbs up after voting today.

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

10:31 a.m.

City Comptroller candidate and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer voting today.


“Just voted with my beautiful wife and family. An exciting and proud moment!”

Photo via Twitter

10:22 a.m.

Chrissy Voskerichian, candidate for City Council District 19 in northeast Queens, casts her ballot this morning in the Democratic Primary.

Photo courtesy of Voskerichian’s campaign

10:21 a.m.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, vying for the Democratic mayoral nomination, votes in Manhattan.


“Joined by Kim and my dad to cast my vote this AM in Chelsea! We have work to do and a world to change! #VoteQuinn ”

Photo via Twitter

10:12 a.m.

Public Advocate candidate and Councilmember Letitia James voting this morning.


” just did my civic duty and cast my #vote

10:09 a.m.

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota casts his ballot.

Photo via @JoeLhota4Mayor

10:00 a.m.

City Council District 19 candidate Austin Shafran exits the booth after casting his vote in Bay Terrace.

9:52 a.m.

Democratic mayoral candidate Erick Salgado votes with his spouse Sonia and son Derick at I.S. 51 in Staten Island

Photo via @ErickSalgadoNYC

9:48 a.m.

Democratic mayoral candidate Sal Albanese votes.


“I voted this morning. Now, it’s your turn! ”

9:30 a.m.

City Council District 19 candidate John Duane votes at P.S. 94

9:00 a.m.

Borough president candidate Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. cast his ballot at P.S. 122 in Astoria.

Photo courtesy of Vallone’s campaign

8:30 a.m.

Democratic City Comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer in Queens this morning.


“#SpitzBlitz taking it to #Queens.  We need an independent voice for NYC”

Photo via Twitter

8:25 a.m.

City Council District 27 candidate Manuel Caughman voting this morning.

Photo courtesy Caughman’s campaign

8:24 a.m.

Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis signing in to vote.

Photo via @JCats2013

7:47 a.m.


Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio casts his ballot in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

“Just voted! Make sure you do too: http://BLAS.IO/POLLS #VotedeBlasio”

Photo via Twitter

7:15 a.m.

City Council District 27 candidate Sondra Peeden votes at P.S. 118 Lorraine Hansberry School.

Photos courtesy of Peeden’s campaign 

7:06 a.m.

Democratic mayoral candidate and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson votes.


“I just voted! Now get out to the polls and exercise your right to vote. ”

Photo via Twitter

6 a.m.

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



Street Talk: Are you voting in the Primary? Why or why not?

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

street talk

Yes, I am. I’m voting because I am tired of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. I want to see more change in our small communities, not only for the rich.

Michelle Rojas

I am definitely voting because I think it is important to narrow down our options so whoever is the better candidate in each party will be left for the people to make their ultimate decision.

Cris Capello

Yes, I’m going to vote. The number one reason is to exercise my right. Though I hate to see Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg go. He’s been a good and bad mayor.

Joseph Frank

Yes, because I am supposed to. I want to see that we keep the city safe.

Dimitri Sulantzos

Yes, I will because it is important to get your voice heard. Every vote counts.

Gina Liberta

I will be voting because it is my right to vote and I always vote. Narrowing down is better.

Cindy Rubin

I probably won’t. I just don’t really follow the primaries. When it comes to the mayoral elections I’ll vote.

Alanna Cohen

I won’t and really never have. I always vote for the mayor and the president though.

Jenna Massa



Primary guide: City Council District 32

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


As the clock ticks closer to city primaries on Tuesday, September 10, The Courier would like to provide you, the reader and the voter, with a fair, detailed guide of who is running. Here is a list of the City Council District 32 primary candidates (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), who they are, what they stand for and what they want to continue to do if they go on to the general election in November.

Name: Lew M. Simon

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Private school teacher, Assembly District Leader

Personal Info: Simon was born and raised in Rockaway. He has been a community and civic leader for over 30 years. He works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, helping all who need help.

Platform/Issues: To secure funding and build much-needed schools. Make school safety and stopping bullying a priority. Reduce busing and keep siblings together in neighborhood schools. Establish an HOV lane on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards during peak hours. See that every community has a good community hospital with a well-equipped emergency room. Will continue to fund all senior centers, Meals-on-Wheels and Access-A-Ride. Will increase funding for volunteer fire and ambulance departments. Increase the staffing levels so that each community board will have a building inspector. Will continue to fund the fight for additional firefighters and police officers. Support direct mass transit service to midtown Manhattan in less than 30 minutes (Rockaway Beach rail line). Clean up graffiti in Woodhaven and Ozone Park.

Name: William Ruiz

Party: Democrat

*The campaign for this candidate did not submit a profile as of press time