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Queens Chronicle

Voters send Addabbo Jr. back to state Senate

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Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:00 am

In one of the most watched state Senate races in the city, freshman Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) seemingly prevailed over his Republican opponent, former prosecutor and onetime City Councilman Anthony Como, who as of press time did not concede the election.

According to preliminary results from the Board of Elections, Addabbo received 57 percent of the votes, with a little more than 20,000 to approximately 15,000 for Como.

The race in the conservative-leaning 15th Senate District was thought by some to be one that could be picked up by the Republicans as they try to regain control of the state Senate after losing it in 2008.

Como, who lives in Middle Village, had tried to portray the incumbent as being in lockstep with the Democratic leadership in Albany and someone who consistently voted for tax increases.

Addabbo, however, cast himself as an independent-minded reformer working to reign in state spending.

Addabbo said the election results vindicated his legislative record in Albany.

“You do your work, you put your work on the line and you let the voters decide if your work stands up,” Addabbo said. “I’m grateful they sent me back.”

He also said his campaign focused on the issues, and he believes that’s why he was re-elected.

“I always believe that positive campaigning beats negative campaigning,” Addabbo said.

Como, however, said he would not concede the race yet, citing “confusion in the reporting for a large portion of the election districts,” according to a campaign spokeswoman.

If Addabbo’s lead does hold up, he will return to a state Senate that right now has an uncertain makeup.

By Wednesday morning, there were still three races too close to call. However, if the current results hold up, the Senate would be deadlocked in a 31-31 tie between the two major parties.

If that’s the case, Addabbo said it might prove productive, because the Senate would then have to pursue true, bipartisan legislative measures.

“I think it will force us to work together, and only pass legislation that both sides of the aisle approve of,” he said.

Though the anti-incumbent sentiment that many predicted would play out at the polls came true nationwide, with the Republicans winning back the House of Representatives for the first time since 2006, it largely did not happen in New York.

Voters returned the major statewide offices — governor, attorney general, and comptroller — to the Democratic party that previously held them.

Still, Addabbo said voter sentiment was so unpredictable this election season that he was ready for any outcome in his own race and others.

“I told my campaign staff, ‘don’t be surprised by any result.’”

Addabbo said his charge now is to return to the state capital and enact further reforms.

“We have a lot of work to do to repair the faith people have in their elected officials and that starts today,” he said.

Welcome to the discussion.