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Queens Chronicle

Big money flowing in Big Apple races

Handful of City Council seats being contested because of term limits

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:17 am, Thu Jul 25, 2013.

Term limits, and in one case a federal indictment, have made for some wide-open City Council races.

But money may make the difference in some of the more hotly contested races, and campaign finance reports, due this past Monday, are starting to draw a clearer picture of just who may have staying power through the Sept. 10 primaries.

Races listed below do not include candidates who have dropped out or reported no funds.

The decision of Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) to not seek reelection while defending himself from corruption charges has four Democrats seeking to take on Republican Dennis Saffran.

Austin Shafran reported $100,762 raised with about $50,000 remaining. Both John Duane and Paul Vallone have raised more than $81,000 with about $30,000 left. Paul Graziano reported still having less than $2,000 of the $23,308 he has raised.

In the 22nd District race to replace Peter Vallone Jr., Democrat Costa Constantinides is ahead of the field with more than $130,000 raised and more than $40,000 in the bank. Businessman Constantinos Prentzas is a distant second with $25,000 raised. He has spent just over $3,000.

Green Party candidate Lynne Serpe has raised more than $11,500 and spent $2,511. Republican Daniel Peterson and Independent Danielle De Stefano reported less than $8,500.

Southeast Queens has a combined 16 candidates in the 27th, 28th and 31st districts.

In the 27th, being vacated by Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) because of term limits, transit union president Daneek Miller ($54,300) is outraising Democratic rivals, including Clyde Vanel ($37,100) and party-endorsed Manny Caughman ($29,400). Joan Flowers has raised more than $15,000 and, like Miller and Caughman, still has more than $11,000 left. Vanel has spent just over $9,700. Greg Mays, collecting more than $10,600, and Sondra Speeden at $5,753, both have reported less than $100 left in the bank.

Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) is facing a serious challenge from attorney Hettie Powell, who has outraised Wills $48,069 to $37,815. Wills reported having about $8,500 on hand, while Powell has more than $40,000.

David Kayode has raised $10,899, while Christine Winslow, Joseph Martone and Breina Payne have all raised less than $2,700 each.

In the 31st District, incumbent Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) is outpacing all competition with $28,300 raised and more than $25,000 in the bank. Ricardo Brown reported more than $15,000, but has spent nothing. Michael Duncan has raised $10,239 and spent just over $2,300. Republican Scherie Murray has raised $757.

In the 20th, incumbent Peter Koo (D-Flushing) has spent $170,000 of his $376,000 war chest for November, and will face Republican Sunny Han ($17,895) and perpetual candidate Evergreen Chou ($200).

Rory Lancman in District 24 has raised nearly $118,000. He is facing Andrea Veras, who has raised just over $9,000, and Mujib Rahman, whose filing states he has a campaign deficit of more than $17,000.

In the 32nd, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) ($32,911) is far outpacing Democrat Lew Simon ($19,400) and William Ruiz ($3,281).

In the controversial 34th District, with a sliver of Queens, Democrat Antonio Reynoso has raised more than $97,000, placing him ahead of disgraced former state Assemblyman Vito Lopez, with more then $56,000. Thomas Torres has raised nearly $35,000 while Gladys Santiago has raised $2,100 and Humberto Soto’s campaign is in debt.

Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), with $79,000 raised and more than $30,000 on hand, is facing Jon Torodash, who has raised less than $1,900.

In the 30th District, incumbent Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) has more than $90,000 remaining from her $160,000 war chest, while Republican Craig Caruana has raised a total of $31,318.

Democrats Julissa Ferreras in the 21st District, Mark Weprin in the 23rd, Danny Dromm in the 25th and Jimmy Van Bramer in the 26th all are running unopposed. Both Dromm and Weprin have spent more than $100,000. Ferraras has spent the least at $36,466

Among Democratic candidates for mayor, Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) still leads the pack with more than $7.6 million in contributions, with former congressman Anthony Weiner in second with just under $5.97 million.

Bill Thompson, the Democrats’ candidate in 2009, has raised $3.9 million, just more than Comptroller John Liu at $3.39 million.

Former Councilman Sal Albanese has raised $266,000 and reported less than $41,000 left.

On the Republican side, supermarket magnate John Castimatidis reported just over $4 million, and has spent nearly $1.9 million.

Former MTA chairman and Rudy Giuliani Deputy Mayor Joe Lhota has raised nearliy $1.8 million, and has spent $839,000.

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