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Queens Chronicle

Primary contenders in western Queens races

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Posted: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:00 am

On Sept. 14 some registered Queens Democrats and even a few Republicans will have tough choices to make when it comes to selecting their future representatives.

In addition to voting for candidates in statewide races, western Queens party members will also be casting their ballots for local contenders.

Incumbents facing challengers are bracing themselves for a tough battle, as the generally poor economy leaves many voters wondering who can be trusted to manage precious tax dollars.

While The New York Times and the Queens Chronicle editorial board have endorsed incumbent Congresswoman, Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens and Manhattan), The Daily News valorized challenger Reshma Saujani, applauding her moxie. Saujani has no previous political experience and has chosen to go up against an incumbent from her own party.

In a spirited radio debate on Tuesday morning, 34-year-old Saujani called for voters to “send a whole new generation to Washington,” telling Maloney, “The question is not what have you done, it’s what are you going to do?”

Maloney remained calm and composed in the face of Saujani chant-ing: “Shame on you Carolyn,” after Maloney spoke of establishing the East River Development Alliance’s Credit Union as among her accomplishments.

Saujani said Maloney was trying to take credit for something she did not do. Maloney responded that many people worked together on the project.

The race for Maloney’s seat is equally aggressive for Republicans Dino LaVerghetta, Roger Blank and Ryan Brumberg, all of whom are vying for their party’s nomination.

A complaint has been filed against LaVerghetta, claiming he “cybersquatted,” purchasing Internet domain names likely to be associated with his competitors in order to direct visitors to his site.

The complaint to the First Departmental Judicial Committee accused the lawyer of conduct unsavory of an attorney and asked that sanctions be taken against him.

A complaint against 28-year-old Brumberg alleges he failed to report rent payment for his campaign office on his July financial-disclosure report.

Filed with the Federal Election Commission, the complaint accuses Brumberg’s campaign of failing to report rent payment for his campaign office on his July financial disclosure report. Brumberg denied the allegations and said the payments were made after the filing deadline.

Blank, a former Bronx prosecutor, now in private practice, has managed to stay above the fray.

All three candidates claim to be fiscally conservative, with platforms of reducing spending. All three have also voiced support for gay marriage and are pro-choice candidates.

Another long-term incumbent facing a challenge is Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona). Aubry will face off against former NYPD Officer and Chairman of the National Latino Officers Association, Anthony Miranda for the Assembly seat in District 35.

Miranda moved to the district recently and accuses Aubry, who sits on two of the most powerful legislative committees — Ways and Means and Rules — of not doing enough with his position.

Miranda was recently called “a hero of reform” by the New York Daily News, while Aubry was called “an enemy of reform.” Meanwhile, The New York Times recommended that voters attempt to oust all incumbents running for Assembly due to the corruption in Albany.

Miranda is friends with ex-state Sen. Hiram Monserrate, but said he would like to run without the stigma Monserrate often brings.

Monserrate will be using his notoriety to run against fellow Democrat Francisco Moya for the State Assembly seat in District 39.

Moya has been endorsed by the Daily News and the Queens Chronicle editorial board.

Monserrate, who has been accused of instigating various altercations during his most recent campaign, represented Senate District 13 until a misdemeanor assault conviction caused him to be expelled.

After his ousting, he ran to regain his former seat, losing to now Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights).

Since then, Monserrate has reunited with his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, whom he was convicted of assaulting. He has aligned himself with conservative religious leaders to stand up against gay marriage and has been accused of continuing to use his Senate parking pass long after his expulsion, among other things.

Moya has run for office previously but was defeated.

This year in his race against Monserrate, he has the support of nearly every Democratic politician.

Welcome to the discussion.