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Austin Shafran, who ran unsuccessfully for the District 19 City Council seat in September’s Democratic primary, has been named New York legislative director of the Working Families Party.
Shafran, 32, of Bayside, lost to Paul Vallone by only 193 votes in a five-person race. It was the first time he ran for office, although his career has centered around working for Democratic Party officials.
Forty-seven million Americans, including approximately one million in Queens, are now seeing a reduction in food stamp benefits, after a temporary boost implemented by the 2009 stimulus package expired.
Half of those in Queens who depend on the program are children, according to the social service organization The River Fund, which is based in Richmond Hill.
A key player in the alleged bribery scheme that has ensnared state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) pleaded guilty for his role in the alleged conspiracy on Tuesday.
Former Bronx Republican Chairman Joseph Savino pleaded guilty to bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud, in federal court in White Plains according to court records obtained by the Chronicle.
At one of the law firms she applied to, Geraldine Ferraro made it through five rounds of interviews before hearing a “no.” The simple and acceptable reason back then: They weren’t hiring any women that year. But as 1984 Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale said, this wife, mother, teacher and lawyer “had a lot of fire” and wasn’t about to let that stop her. Her drive led her to become the first female vice presidential nominee on a major party ticket.
Ferraro kept her mother’s surname in the public eye in her honor. Her widowed mother worked as a seamstress to make sure Geraldine went to college at a time when women were largely expected to be housewives. She became the first female in the family to receive a degree and used it to teach at PS 85 in Astoria.
She was an outspoken, longtime representative of Southeast Queens in the state Senate. She displayed an increasingly disturbing pattern of public behavior before a highly publicized run-in with the law. And she lost her Senate seat in a primary even with the Democratic Party endorsement and a large fundraising advantage.
Her name was Ada Smith.
It was in 2008 that Hiram Monserrate won the Senate seat for the 13th District in Western Queens unopposed. It was also the year that led to his downfall.
On Dec. 19, Monserrate’s then-girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, showed up at North Shore-LIJ Medical Center needing 40 stitches for cuts to her left eye. According to doctors, she claimed that Monserrate had slashed her face in anger, leading to his arrest. He pleaded not guilty to three counts of second-degree assault and three counts of third-degree assault.
When the 52nd governor of New York began public school he couldn’t speak English. Meanwhile, Mario Cuomo’s father slowly worked his way from ditch digger to storeowner with his wife in South Jamaica. It was a struggle for his parents who left their native Italy to pursue a better life for their family in the 1920s. Six decades later, he would speak of their trials as Gov. Cuomo when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.
It was 1983 that marked the start of Cuomo’s 12-year tenure, the longest for a Democrat. He balanced 12 consecutive budgets, though many were late, reduced state income taxes by 20 percent and enacted the nation’s first seat belt law credited with reducing fatalities. Though seen by many as a clear choice for the presidential nomination, it never was for Cuomo. To run on a platform that said he could balance the nation’s budget while his own state was still without one would be a politically “foolish” move, as he said in a 1998 New York Magazine article.
Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz thanks a room packed with supporters at Democratic Party headquarters in Forest Hills on Tuesday night following her big win over Republican Tony Arcabascio.
Queens Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, right, celebrates her victory with outgoing BP Helen Marshall and Democratic Party Executive Director Michael Reich in Forest Hills Tuesday night. Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio, inset, also has plenty to smile about.
Queens Borough President-elect Melinda Katz stands tall, on a chair, as she addresses supporters including an applauding Democratic Party Executive Director Michael Reich in forest Hills Tuesday night. She won 80 percent of the vote.
Tuesday’s elections turned out just as the pollsters and political junkies said they would.
Following a tough primary battle, Democrat Bill de Blasio strolled into the mayoralty of New York City, taking 73.4 percent of the general election vote compared to 24.3 percent for Republican rival Joe Lhota, according to preliminary Board of Elections figures.
For the first time since 1974, a member of the Vallone family will not hold the District 22 seat as Councilman-Elect Costa Constantinides won handily against his opponents last night.
“The voters have spoken,” he said. “I feel very humbled about the weight of what this means and the faith the people of this district have put in me.”
Following a contentious head-to-head battle in the 19th Council District, Democratic candidate Paul Vallone defeated his Republican opponent Dennis Saffran 57 to 43 percent in a bid to replace Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), who was indicted on corruption charges earlier this year and did not seek re-election.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Vallone’s vote count stood at 12,791; Saffran had 9,582 votes.
Area Democratic incumbents won their City Council races Tuesday in Districts 20 and 23.
Councilman Peter Koo of Flushing had no Republican opposition but faced three third-party candidates. Koo took 79.6 percent of the vote, outdistancing himself from the others who ran: Independent Jobs and Education candidate Martha Flores-Vazquez, who took 10.5 percent; Reform candidate Sunny Hahn, who took 6.5 percent; and Green Party candidate Evergreen Chou with 3.4 percent.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) defeated her Republican opponent Craig Caruana on Election Night to win a second term as the 30th District’s City Council representative.
Speaking to dozens of family members and supporters inside the Woodhaven House bar and restaurant at 63-98 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park on Tuesday, Crowley praised those who aided in her re-election campaign and those who voted for her.
Democratic candidates for City Council seats in Southeast Queens all annihilated their competition on Tuesday night.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) appeared to prevail over his Democratic rival, District Leader Lew Simon 53 percent to 47 percent in the 32nd Council District — a margin of about 1,100 votes — in what ended up being the closest race in the entire city
Queens Borough President-elect Melinda Katz, right, celebrates her victory with outgoing BP Helen Marshall and Democratic Party Executive Director Michael Reich at the party's offices in Forest Hills Tuesday night.
Tuesday's elections turned out just as the pollsters and political junkies said they would.
Democrat Bill de Blasio strolled into the mayoralty of New York City, taking 73.3 percent of the vote compared to 24.3 percent for Republican rival Joe Lhota, according to preliminary Board of Elections figures reported by NY 1.
All these former Republican officials: Gov. Pataki, former Mayor Giuliani, former City Council members Mike Abel, Anthony Stabile, Tom Ognibene, Anthony Como and Dennis Gallagher, state Assemblyman Doug Prescott, state Sens. Frank Padavan and Serf Maltese and Congressman Bob Turner; along with current Councilman Eric Ulrich and Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa have all collectively failed to assist Aurelio “Tony” Arcabascio in raising sufficient funding to run a competitive race against Democrat Melinda Katz (“I’m the ‘real Queens” candidate, Arc says,” by Peter C. Mastrosimone, Oct. 24).
As of April 1, 2013 there were more than 1,076,000 active voters in Queens, including 703,202 Democrats; 128,335 Republicans; 206,770 “blanks” (with no declared party affiliation); 27,556 Independents; 5,862 Conservatives; 3,280 Working Families and 1,235 others.
Arcabascio needed to raise a million dollars months ago to pay for direct mail, telephone banks and newspaper, radio and television advertising to overcome these overwhelming odds if he was to be taken seriously. This was necessary to level the playing field against Katz.
No wonder the last Republican Queens borough president was James A. Lundy, who served from 1952 to 1957. Ditto for Nat Hentel, who served as the last GOP district attorney in 1970.
By comparison, the odds of winning any million-dollar lottery are greater!
Democratic incumbents for City Council Districts 20 and 23 have only minor party opposition in Tuesday’s elections.
Councilman Peter Koo of Flushing has no Republican opponent in the District 20 race, but will face three third-party candidates. They are Sunny Hahn on the Reform ticket, Martha Flores-Vazquez on the Independent Jobs and Education ballot, and Evergreen Chou, representing the Green Party.
To say this isn’t Lew Simon’s first time at the rodeo is an understatement.
The Rockaway civic leader has made multiple attempts at elected office, including twice before for the City Council seat he’s currently seeking, and he’s been elected and re-elected as Democratic leader in the Assembly district that includes most of the Rockaway Peninsula, Howard Beach, Broad Channel, and Ozone Park for the last couple of decades.
With Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) finishing up his term, Danielle De Stefano, running on the Independence line and one of several candidates for District 22, said she’s the right person to take over.
“I have lived here my whole life and I know what works and what doesn’t,” she said in an email. “As a volunteer in this community for over 20 years I have a strong connection with the people who live here. I have worked with many of them. My family is rooted in this neighborhood. I have a vested interest in it because I live here, my parents live here, my in-laws live here and I am raising my three children here.”
Election Day is just around the corner and candidates are seeking your vote.
In Western Queens, Council incumbents Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Daniel Dromm (D- Jackson Heights) and Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) are running unopposed so all three are expected back in the Council chambers come January.
At the request of the evening’s moderator, the candidates who addressed the crowd of about 150 in Whitestone’s Holy Trinity School on Oct. 23 kept their comments as positive as their occasionally bristling emotions would allow, opting instead to attack indirectly and frequently without naming names.
With each candidate allowed approximately 20 minutes, Democrat Paul Vallone, first up of the two men seeking to replace lame-duck Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) for the 19th City Council seat, spoke briefly before engaging in a give-and-take with the audience.