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Queens Chronicle

Sanders aide might run for Ulrich’s seat

Mike Scala mulling campaign based on councilman’s hints he may leave in ’17

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Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2016 10:30 am

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.’s (D-South Ozone Park) legislative aide could run for the seat occupied by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) should the borough’s only Republican choose to not run for another term next year, the Queens Chronicle has learned.

Mike Scala, a lifelong Queens resident, told a reporter those plans are very preliminary.

He has already filed papers with the state Board of Elections declaring his intention to run for the 32nd Council District in 2017, but only so that he can raise money in the event he decides to go forward with a campaign.

“It’s very early,” Scala, a Democrat, said.

He said he would most likely only go ahead with a campaign should Ulrich decide to end his tenure as councilman at the end of next year.

Earlier this year, Ulrich and Queens GOP leaders touted the young gun as a possible opponent for Mayor de Blasio in next year’s election, though he hasn’t said definitively if he will do so.

He is able to run for one more four-year term as a councilman before he is term-limited out of office.

When asked if he would still run for the seat should Ulrich stick around, Scala said “probably not, but it’s very early.”

It would not be his first time running for political office.

In 2012, the former Rosedale resident challenged Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) in a three-way Democratic primary but lost in a landslide.

Scala, who right now is living in Albany until the end of the political session, said he would make the improvement of public transportation in South Queens his No. 1 priority if elected.

He is the first vice president of the Queens Public Transit Committee, a group of concerned residents who advocate for better transportation infrastructure throughout the borough.

“We need better transportation,” he said. “It’s great that we have the Rockaway ferry coming back next year but it shouldn’t have been taken away in the first place.”

Scala would also focus on “general quality-of-life issues,” such as the repaving of residential streets.

When asked his opinions on de Blasio’s job as mayor so far and if he would be a critic of the mayor while in the Council, Scala remained mum.

“I’m looking to work with everyone in the Council,” he said.

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1 comment:

  • pvaldezriverajr posted at 10:31 am on Fri, Apr 22, 2016.

    pvaldezriverajr Posts: 292

    Assuming he wins for city council in his district, then the need for public transportation becomes a major priority all across the borough of Queens, since there are a lot of commercial, educational, mixed-used, recreational, residential, as well as retail development, since more and more newer residents and workers are calling Queens home, in order to bike, commute, dine, educate, live, play, shop, as well as work.