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Queens Chronicle

Braunstein wins Democratic primary

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Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2010 12:00 am

Ed Braunstein, at 29 a newcomer to politics, handily defeated three Democratic challengers Tuesday vying for the District 26 seat being vacated by Ann Carrozza.

The Bayside native, who until recently worked in Manhattan for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in constituent services, took 37 percent of the vote with 2,035 votes. His closest competitor, John Duane, received 27.8 percent (1,526).

Duane, of Little Neck, held the Assembly seat for one term in the 1980s and was attempting to get back into politics now that his children are grown.

Steve Behar of Bayside, received 18 percent of the vote (994). He ran unsuccessfully for City Council last year.

Finally, Elio Forcina of Whitestone received 16.9 percent (928) of the vote. He tried to distance himself from the other Democrats, calling himself an outsider.

All four Democrats are lawyers.

The three other candidates tried to paint Braunstein as a political insider because of his connection with Silver, but voters didn’t buy it. The nominee has called for ethics and budget reform.

In his victory speech Tuesday night at Sullivan’s Grill in Bayside, Braunstein vowed to get state spending under control if he’s elected and to focus on education issues.

His district concerns include halting overdevelopment and getting back tax dollars to improve schools and parks.

Braunstein called the last six months of campaigning “incredible,” and thanked the hundreds of volunteers, neighbors and his family for their help and support.

“Now the real work begins,” he said.

Braunstein will face off against Republican Vince Tabone of Bayside in the November election. Tabone, 43, also a lawyer, serves as vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party. He ran unsuccessfully in 2001 for City Council in Astoria.

The 26th District includes Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Bay Terrace, Whitestone and East Flushing.

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