The race was supposed to be one of the most competitive and tightest state Legislative elections in the country. Some were preparing for the possibility of a recount. Either way, nearly everyone on both sides of the campaign thought the final results would be close.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) kept his seat in Albany by defeating City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) by a relatively wide margin — 57 percent to 43 percent. The results were slightly larger than his 2010 margin against former Councilman Anthony Como.
The City Board of Elections has not released any specific information on results from election districts as of yet because many voters in the 15th District displaced by Hurricane Sandy voted elsewhere in the district or even the state. The district includes Howard Beach and most of the Rockaway Peninsula, hard hit by the Oct. 29 storm. The BOE did release unofficial results which showed more than 66,000 voters cast ballots in the race, only about an 8 percent drop from the last presidential election in 2008.
The district was redrawn after the 2010 Census to include Kew Gardens Hills and the Rockaways.
Addabbo said he won because his campaign was able to reach out to voters who rejected the “political noise,” specifically the number of mailers residents received. Even after Hurricane Sandy, when both Addabbo and Ulrich suspended campaigning, numerous fliers showed up in the mailboxes of survivors in Howard Beach attacking the candidates.
He believes negative mailers sent out on Ulrich’s behalf by a group based in Virginia backfired and made an impact on the race.
Addabbo said he and Ulrich work well together and have continued to do so since the election, especially on issues related to Sandy.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Ulrich said earlier this week, adding that his district needs him in the wake of Sandy.