Tag Archives: William Garifal

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.

More hats in the ring for 25th Assembly District

| mchan@queenscourier.com

The 25th Assembly District race — which until recently only had two democratic contenders — may now have a Republican primary, as two other hopefuls have thrown their hat into the ring.

Abe Fuchs, of Kew Garden Hills, decided after much debate to run for office with hopes to restore quality education. The retired postal worker, who also spent three years in the seminary, said he did not start up an exploratory committee to make his choice, but instead “searched his heart” for the answer.

“I’m seeking office because I want to make a difference. I think I have a lot to offer,” Fuchs, 56, said.

Fuchs will formally announce his candidacy this Thursday, and while he will still have to garner enough petitions to make it on to the ballot, he will have to do so without the support of the Queens County Republican Party and face a primary with the County’s pick, William Garifal Jr.

“We usually pick the candidate that has the best chance of winning, and I believe that [William] does,” said Phil Ragusa, chair of the Queens County Republican Party. “He has community ties, and he’s worked several campaigns. You have to know what you’re doing when you’re running. I believe he was the best suited to run in the 25th District.”

Garifal, a 42-year-old Internet marketer from Flushing, was a volunteer for Councilmember Dan Halloran’s campaign for City Council and boasts of being the assistant scoutmaster for his 14-year-old twin boys’ Boy Scout troop.

“I’m looking forward to being a good example for my sons. They’ve heard me enough around the house, and now maybe I’ll get a chance to do some good,” Garifal said.

While he has not yet publicly announced his run, Garifal said he’s a serious candidate looking to be effective in the Assembly by helping lower taxes and creating “a more favorable environment for businesses.”

“In turn, I hope those businesses will create the quality jobs that we’ve lost. I think it’s a win-win for businesses and for employees if we can keep the kinds of businesses here that can create those quality jobs,” Garifal said.

The winner of the September 13 Republican primary will either take on Jerry Iannece, the Queens County Democratic Committee’s pick, or Nily Rozic, the former chief of staff to Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh — given all four candidates gather a sufficient number of petitions by the July 12 deadline.

“The opportunity to serve your community in government is one of the highest callings there is,” Rozic said during her June 5 campaign kickoff. “Queens is facing difficult times, but I know I have the energy and ideas to meet the challenge.”