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Queens Chronicle

Your guide to the 2017 city elections

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Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 9:49 am

The leaves are changing colors, the temperature is starting to fall and lawn signs are taking over yards everywhere.

That can only mean one thing — Election Day is here again.

With Mayor de Blasio expected to safely win another four years in office, Queens political junkies will be keeping their eyes on City Council races. Here are the basics you need to know before heading to the polls next week.

The end of the story contains information for anyone with questions on when and where to vote.

Holden vs. Crowley II

Juniper Park Civic Association President Bob Holden had already booked his ticket to the general election before September’s primary, in which he failed to defeat Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale), by getting on the Reform, Conservative and “Dump de Blasio” lines.

But after what some have called a backroom deal with the Queens County Republican Party, the longtime civic activist and Crowley foe will appear as the GOP candidate as well.

The race is one of the most personal, and expensive, in Queens and the drama has included elected officials and candidates in other areas. Holden has said the district can’t take another four years of Crowley — who will also appear on the Working Families and Women’s Equality lines — while the incumbent has touted her record and painted the challenger as a friend of Trump-admiring Republicans.

The 30th Council District includes parts of Woodhaven and Ridgewood and all of Middle Village, Maspeth and Glendale.

Ulrich vs. Scala

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) earlier this year decided to forego a mayoral campaign, and instead chose to run for a third and final term for the seat he’s held since 2009.

But to win it, he’ll have to defeat Democrat Mike Scala, a Howard Beach attorney who has made a name for himself in recent years as a transportation advocate.

Scala, who has the support of the Queens County Democratic Party and various borough elected officials, has hit Ulrich for flip-flopping on policy matters such as gay marriage, supporting then opposing the constitutional convention — more on that later — and term limits for city politicians.

The incumbent — who is also on the Conservative, Independence and Reform lines — believes he’s the best candidate not just in South Queens, but in the entire borough, to stand up to de Blasio. A number of Democrats are supporting Ulrich as well, including former Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven).

The 32nd Council District includes parts of Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Rockaway and South Ozone Park and all of Ozone Park, Howard Beach and Broad Channel.

Grodenchik vs. Concannon II

Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) has represented the 23rd Council District since 2015 — and now he’s looking for his first full term. To win it, though, he’ll have to again defeat the man he bested two years ago: Republican Joe Concannon.

The retired NYPD captain, who is also the Conservative and “Stop de Blasio” candidate, believes government can do more to protect eastern Queens, such as stopping Creedmoor patients from harassing neighboring residents. Grodenchik, who will also be on the Working Families line, wants the opportunity to continue overseeing the planning of the 116th Precinct, for which he fought to fund, and allocating money to schools.

A third candidate will also appear on the ballot: Oakland Gardens resident John Y. Lim, who is appearing on the “John Y. Lim” party line.

The 23rd Council District includes parts of Queens Village, Bayside, Fresh Meadows and all of Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood and Little Neck.

Adams vs. Mossop vs. Powell

Community Board 12 Chairwoman Adrienne Adams won a three-way Democratic primary in September for the chance to succeed former Councilman Ruben Wills, who was convicted on corruption charges in July. She will now have to win a three-way race next week to officially get the seat.

One of her opponents will be Republican Ivan Mossop, who says “people are not satisfied with Adrienne Adams” and wants to encourage self-employment in the district.

Rochdale Village attorney Hettie Powell, who came in third in the primary race, will appear on the Working Families line. During that race, she campaigned on providing “desperately needed community service.”

The winner will be sworn in upon the confirmation of the vote count to serve the remainder of Wills’ term.

The 28th Council District includes parts of Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park and all of South Jamaica and Rochdale Village.

Graziano vs. Vallone II

Urban planner Paul Graziano came the closest to toppling a Queens incumbent in September’s primary — losing to Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) by eight points.

He’ll now have the chance to take on Vallone yet again as the Reform candidate.

The civic activist wants to stop the “jarring changes” he’s seen in the district and use his background to do so. Graziano’s website says he would focus on affordable housing issues, animal care and control, reforming building and zoning codes and improving public safety.

Vallone on his campaign website touts the $40 million in funding he’s brought back to the district to pay for vital resources such as libraries, parks and schools.

Also on the ballot will be Republican Konstantinos Poulidis, a Bayside resident who has no active campaign website. According to Poulidis’ LinkedIn account, he is the president of the Queens College Republican Club.

Council District 19 includes the areas of College Point, Whitestone, Malba, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, North Flushing and Auburndale.

Rahman vs. Lancman II

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) again will face his Democratic primary opponent, Mohammad Rahman, a retired civil servant with the Human Resources Administration, who will appear on the Reform line. Rahman has not been actively campaigning since falling to the incumbent in September.

The 24th Council District includes parts of Fresh Meadows and Jamaica and all of Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood and Jamaica Hills.

Miller vs. Green. vs. Francois

After handily winning in the primary, Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) now must do the same in a three-way race.

His opponents are Republican Rupert Green, a teacher, and Green party candidate Frank Francois.

Miller’s campaign website touts his record of promoting transit equity, regulating the dollar van industry, adding security cameras and more.

Green wants to use his teaching background to stop the school-to-prison pipeline, create jobs by bringing more science, technology, engineering and math education to the community — as well as make the E and F trains smell good again.

A Francois campaign video states he wants to legalize marijuana, fight for good schools and affordable housing and stand up to “this corrupt police department.”

The 27th Council District includes parts of Jamaica and Queens Village and all of Cambria Heights, St. Albans and Springfield Gardens.

Van Bramer vs. Jeffcoat

Operation Desert Storm veteran Marvin Jeffcoat is hoping to take down Majority Leader Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside).

The Woodside resident, running on the Republican and Conservative lines, states on his website he wants to address rampant crime and drug use on the streets, stop government regulations from getting in the way of job creation and support charter schools and vouchers.

A campaign video for Van Bramer, also the Working Families candidate, says he’s proud of the work he’s done over the last eight years — such as getting 11 new schools built or designed — and improving libraries across the city in his role as chairman of the Council’s Cultural Affairs & Libraries Committee.

The 26th Council District includes parts of Astoria and Long Island City and all of Woodside and Sunnyside.

Springer vs. Constantinides

Astoria Parks and Aquatics Preservation founder Kathleen Springer is running on a party line she created, the Dive In Party — perhaps an ode to her goal to preserve the landmarked diving pool at the Astoria Pool — against Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria).

Her other missions include relieving congestion and improving the district’s infrastructure, according to her website.

Constantinides does not have a campaign website — he’s been in the Council since 2014 and serves as chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee.

The 22nd Council District includes parts of East Elmhurst, Woodside, Long Island City and Astoria.

Unopposed

The following candidates running for re-election have no opponents: Council members Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn, Queens), Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and Peter Koo (D-Flushing).

Also unopposed is Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights), who defeated disgraced former politician Hiram Monserrate in September for the right to succeed retiring Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-East Elmhurst).

Katz vs. Kregler

Republican Bill Kregler told the Chronicle he “guarantees” he’ll bring down Democratic Borough President Melinda Katz. He also says he’s the “only one” who can bring President Trump and Gov. Cuomo together.

Beyond that, the candidate — also running on the Conservative line — wants to give communities notice when the city plans to convert a hotel into a shelter.

Katz, also on the Working Families line, has touted her work in reforming the Queens Library system and funding capital improvements to schools and says she wants to bring a soccer or hockey stadium to Willets Point.

Perennial candidate Everly Brown will appear on the “Homeowner NYCHA” line.

Citywide seats

De Blasio will face Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island, Brooklyn) and retired private eye Bo Dietl, appearing on the “Dump the Mayor” line.

Former Councilman Sal Albanese, who came in a distant second in the Democratic primary, will be on the Reform line.

There are other third-party candidates.

Public Advocate Letitia James faces Republican Juan Carlos Polanco, Conservative Michael O’Reilly of Broad Channel and other third-party candidates.

Comptroller Scott Stringer will face former New York Jet and Republican Michael Faulkner.

All citywide incumbents are expected to win by a landslide, according to polls.

Daniel Rosenthal

Daniel Rosenthal, an aide to Lancman, is unopposed in his quest to replace the late Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz, who died Sept. 2.

The Democrat will complete the deceased politician’s 2017-18 term. The 27th Assembly District includes all of College Point and parts of Whitestone, Flushing, Pomonok, Briarwood, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Richmond Hill.

Judges

There are a number of judicial seats up for grabs, though only one race will see any competition. In Civil Court, Astoria resident John Katsanos is unchallenged for the 1st Municipal Court, as are Howard Beach resident Tracy Catapano-Fox for the 3rd Municipal Court, Jamaica resident Maurice Muir for the 4th Municipal Court and Flushing resident Phillip Hom for the 6th Municipal Court.

There are six seats up for grabs in the 11th Judicial District of the state Supreme Court. Voters will pick from a slate of nine candidates. They are: Richard Latin, Joseph Kasper, Jodi Orlow-Mackoff, James Kevins Jr., Ulysses Leverett, Woodruff Carroll, David Elliot, Gregory Lasak and Michael Aloise.

Ballot measures

Be sure to flip over your ballot to find three referendum questions. The first asks if a constitutional convention should be held to amend the state Constitution. If the measure is approved, delegates will be elected next year and a package of reform proposals will be brought to a vote in 2019.

The second asks if a public officer, which includes elected officials, should be stripped of his or her pension if convicted of a felony.

The last does not pertain directly to Queens — it asks if the state should create a land bank of 250 acres of forest preserve eligible for use by Hudson Valley and upstate towns and villages that seek to do work in certain areas.

How and when to vote

To see if you’re registered to vote, call the state Board of Elections at (518) 474-6220. You can also call the city BOE’s Queens office at (718) 730-6730. Polls across the city will open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. To find where your polling place is, you can visit voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us or call 1 (866) VOTE-NYC (868-3692).

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