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Queens Chronicle

Constantinides wins in District 22

City Council hopeful defeats two opponents in Democratic primary

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:17 am, Thu Sep 19, 2013.

Costas Constantinides handily won in the Democratic primary for the city’s 22nd District Council against opponents John Ciafone and Constantinos “Gus” Prentzas.

Constantinides, seeking his first term, took 55.8 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results from the New York State Board of Elections.

“I’m really overwhelmed at the moment,” he said. “The people of this district have spoken.”

Ciafone came in second with 22.11 percent and Prentzas finished with one vote less, for 22.1 percent.

The primary victor celebrated his win in Astoria with family, friends and supporters.

Among those were state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria).

“When we were at the headquarters looking at the numbers ... someone said ‘You can add the other two guy’s votes together and they still don’t [catch up to Costa],’” Gianaris said.

Simotas said public service is in Constantinides’ blood.

“He cares about real people,” she said. “He is very passionate about what he believes in, about helping people and making sure that Astoria moves forward.”

During his campaign, Constantinides noted if elected he hopes to address environmental and education issues.

He said he would approach the latter by reducing class size and encouraging parent involvement in an effort to make sure “every student has a running start in their education.”

Constantinides also introduced a five-point plan that aims to improve Astoria’s environment, which includes doubling trash pickups, improving park maintenance and sanitation, doubling fines for illegal dumping and bringing in street crews for litter removal.

To further promote a clean environment, he hopes to dismantle the closed Charles Poletti Power Plant to prevent it from being used again.

Constantinides said he would also work to better Astoria’s healthcare by improving access and expanding Mount Sinai Hospital in Astoria, which already has a plan in the works for growth.

“I’m proud of the race that we ran,” Constantinides said. “We ran a positive campaign talking about things that matter to everyone in Astoria.”

Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), whom Constantinides has worked with for nearly seven years, most recently as his chief of staff, said Constantinides’ win is a great victory and he will make a great public servant.

“He’s all heart, he’s all love,” Gennaro said. “[He has] love for his family, love for his community, love for his work. He’s passionate about it.”

Constantinides will face Republican Daniel Peterson, an administrator at a commerical real estate firm, in the general election in November.

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