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Queens Chronicle

Primary contenders in western Queens races

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Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2010 12:00 am

On Nov. 2, registered Queens voters will have tough choices to make when it comes to selecting their future representatives.

In addition to voting for candidates in statewide races, residents will also be casting ballots for area contenders.

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

Incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens and Manhattan) has faced spirited challengers for the seat she hopes to hold on to.

The veteran Congresswoman is well known for her championing of women’s causes and for trying to keep the credit card industry in check through her Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights.

She co-introduced the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, seeking to provide medical monitoring and treatment to 9/11 responders and their families. Her diverse district includes Long Island City, Astoria, Roosevelt Island, Manhattan’s East Side and parts of other Queens neighborhoods.

Maloney will be facing Ryan Brumberg, a 28-year-old Republican who wants to change the way things are done in Washington. He doesn’t like the Affordable Healthcare for America Act, he scorns big government and is socially liberal, supporting gay marriage and a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.

Another incumbent facing a challenge is Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens and Bronx). Crowley, who grew up in Woodside, is the chairman of the Queens Democratic Party and has come under fire recently for alleged ethics violations.

He holds a post on the powerful Ways and Means Committee which oversees the nation’s tax and trade policies, Social Security and Medicare.

Republican challenger Ken Reynolds is running because he is “fed up” with Crowley. He is against giving amnesty to illegal immigrants and said the Affordable Healthcare for America Act “may be the most oppressive piece of legislation foisted on the American people.”

Incumbent state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) is new to his position, but hopes to serve another term. During his time in office, he has helped open four schools and created tax incentives for small businesses. He wants to clean up Roosevelt Avenue and has devoted funds toward fighting domestic violence and is a champion of immigrant rights.

Challenger Richard La Salle is a practicing lawyer with similar goals to Peralta’s, but he is interested in lowering taxes to help small businesses. He believes that once they grow, the economy will improve and wages will rise.

Assemblyman Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) is seeking new responsibility as a senator in the upcoming election. He aims to represent the concerns of his constituents and has taken on big businesses like Con Edison and Amtrak.

Gianaris’ opponent, Republican Pat Tina describes himself as a “patriot” and decided to run when he saw Gianaris was initially unopposed. He wants to lower taxes and is tired of being unable to trust politicians in Albany.

Incumbent Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Sunnyside) is a supporter of laborers. As chairwoman of state’s Committee on Labor, she led reviews of workers’ compensation, worker safety, protection and privacy laws. She successfully passed legislation in the Assembly to enhance whistleblower protections for healthcare workers, promote sweatshop crackdowns, tighten enforcement of wage violations, protect innocent bystanders involved in strikes and to create a special fund to investigate prevailing wage violations. She often works with other Queens politicians on various initiatives and lives in Ridgewood.

Opponent John Wilson is running on the Republican line and is an actor and bartender. He wants to promote job growth and is a proponent of charter schools. He wants to reduce taxes and took a position against a bill which would make paid sick days mandatory in the city because he thinks it would hurt businesses.

Last but not least is incumbent Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) who is facing a challenge from Republican Tony Nunziato.

Markey has said she is devoted to making residential streets safer in Maspeth and opposes term limits. She believes in keeping housing affordable and improving public spaces and would like to help businesses grow without ceding to overdevelopment.

Nunziato thinks Markey is not doing a good job representing her constituents. He supports Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo’s plan to give tax credits to employers who hire formerly unemployed workers. He would like to help the economy recover by lowering taxes so that younger New Yorkers will want to remain in the state as part of the work force.

Welcome to the discussion.