In the 15 years Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) has represented the 30th District, she has never faced a significant challenge when running for re-election.
With the 2014 campaign season just around the corner, community activist and fellow Democrat Dmytro Fedkowskyj is hoping to change that.
Fedkowskyj, a lifelong Middle Village resident and former Panel for Education Policy member, officially declared his candidacy for state Assembly on Saturday morning at Maspeth High School in front of a few dozen friends, family members and supporters.
He will square off with Markey on Sept. 9 in the Democratic primary, with the winner moving on to the general election in November.
The 30th District is based in Maspeth, but also includes Woodside and parts of Middle Village, Long Island City, Astoria and Sunnyside.
“I’ve spent the last 10 years safeguarding the educational interests of our parents, students and school communities,” Fedkowskyj said, “but now I want to safeguard and protect the interests of all our residents, which is why I’m running for the state Assembly.”
A member of Community Board 5, Fedkowskyj also previously served on the community education council in District 24 and as an advisor to Mayor de Blasio on educational issues during his transition and search for a new schools chancellor.
During his speech, Fedkowskyj called for increased funding for public schools, advanced technology in public libraries and enhanced pedestrian safety.
He has hammered home the importance of the latter issue over the last four months after witnessing the death of a pedestrian, Angela Hurtado, at the hands of a hit-and-run driver making an illegal turn in Maspeth on Jan. 18.
“The next 136 days of this campaign will be about you, the voters and business leaders of this district,” he said. “I want to understand your concerns and values and make your problems my problems because we together can and will make a difference in the 30th Assembly District.”
At last Thursday’s Juniper Park Civic Association meeting, Fedkowskyj confirmed to those in attendance that he was to declare his candidacy on Saturday and expressed excitement over his coming campaign, to solid applause.
“For the last few months, I’ve spoken to hundreds of people who felt they need to be represented up in Albany better than what they have been right now,” he said. “I’m in this for the long run. My heart is in this.”
Markey has maintained a firm grasp on her state Assembly seat ever since taking office in 1998, succeeding now-Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens).
She was unopposed by Republican challengers in 2000 and 2006 and comfortably defeated Maspeth businessman Anthony Nunziato in the last three election cycles.